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Notre Dame Football

Instant Reaction: Brian Kelly's PC and Updated Heights and Weights

August 2, 2018

There wasn’t a lot of news that came out of Brian Kelly’s opening press conference, which is actually good news for Notre Dame. There wasn’t a big offseason issue to deal with and the questions to Kelly pretty much focused on football and not what the players were doing outside of it.

I’ve got some quick reactions to some things that stood out to me from what Kelly said and also some reactions to the updated heights and weights for the team.

- I know it’s going to be a “show me” situation with Brandon Wimbush, but when Kelly said that Wimbush had an A+ summer, it’s exactly what everyone wanted to hear. The most important thing for Wimbush in my opinion is his confidence and it being mentioned that he has a confidence that he lacked last year is hopefully a good sign of things to come.

- A lot of praise for Bo Bauer, which isn’t too surprising after how well he performed as an early enrollee this spring. It sounds like they are going to give him a legitimate chance to compete with Jonathan Jones for that number two Mike linebacker job.

- It didn’t sound definitive with Dexter Williams and his availability for Michigan, which is exactly how Kelly wanted it to sound. I don’t think anyone should feel confident he’ll play early in the year.

However, the fact that Kelly gushed about Williams having the best summer since he’s been at Notre Dame (he’s up to 215) has to be a positive sign that he will help the team this season (even if it’s not in the first month).

- What Kelly said about Houston Griffith being a safety with corner ability is exactly why Griffith is going to play this season. Even with Nick Coleman, a one time cornerback, the safety position at Notre Dame doesn’t have anyone like Griffith with his versatility.

Throw in advanced football intelligence for a young player and I think Griffith is going to push to be a starter.

- That’s certainly good news about Julian Okwara being up to 242 (as corrected by Kelly during the PC) and Kelly stating that Okwara was one of the strongest players on the team can mean only good things as well. I’m very excited to watch him in camp.

- This may be an overreaction, but Darnell Ewell at 330 pounds is not a positive sign for his outlook this season in my mind. He is not quick enough to carry that weight based on what we saw in the spring. We’ll see how he looks physically, but I hope that 330 isn’t from too many visits to Steak and Shake.

- Out of the freshman, one of the most interesting weights I noticed is Shayne Simon at 222. That’s a bit bigger than I expected to start and not in a bad way.

The Rover job is going to be open and while he may get in the mix for it, I do wonder if they may look to move him inside to Buck if they feel good about Asmar Bilal and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah there. If Simon is the number three or even 2A at Rover, maybe it makes sense to throw him into the mix at Buck behind Tranquill instead and get that transition started earlier?

- Some other quick hitters….

Brock Wright at 260 pounds. Excited to see him block in-line.

George Takacs at 6’6’ 250 as a true freshman. What a difference from the somewhat skinny kid Christian and I saw at The Opening last summer.

The trio of Braden Lenzy, Tariq Bracy, and Lawrence Keys all at 170. It doesn’t disqualify them from playing this year, but it’s going to be interesting to see if they look even smaller than that in person.

Derrik Allen at 213. That’s only two pounds heavier than Donte Vaughn. Allen might be the most intriguing freshman on the roster.

Jafar Armstrong at 218. It’s getting eerily similar to CJ Prosise in terms of size and explosiveness. He is definitely near the top of the list of players to watch in camp.

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