Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD

Brian Kelly Notebook | National Signing Day

February 6, 2019
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Notre Dame did not have a press conference on National Signing Day, but Brian Kelly was interviewed by an on-campus media member. 

On signing 2019 DE Isaiah Foskey:
“We were looking for a pass rusher. Any time you finish your recruiting, you want to finish with someone who can make an impact. Isaiah comes from a great program in De La Salle. It’s a great fit and he’s a strong student. 

“More importantly, we needed that guy who can make a presence in our defense. If you’re looking at it from an NFL perspective, the guys who get paid a lot of money are cornerbacks or guys who can rush the passer. He can certainly do that.” 

On the 2019 recruiting class:
“You have to look at its totality. There are guys who are going to take some time. I think there are guys who are going to push for time. I think there are guys who can start for us. Every class has those guys in it. You recruit that way. Not all of these guys are ready to play. 

“There is balance. You’re always looking to fill in the needs of the class. This has a very strong presence as mid-years and that’s a trend we’ll continue. We like getting them in here during January for the transition academically at Notre Dame. It helps them quite a bit. We get them in the weight room and spring ball. It helps them in terms of maturing and being able to play. 

“It really impacts the way we move forward in recruiting.” 

On 10 early enrollees:
“First and foremost, they are all able to handle the transition. I don’t think you graduate early from high school if you’re not organized or detailed. All these guys had to do things that were more than the average student. They had to take an extra class. They had to do some summer work, so they are highly motivated young men. That works well here. 

“They’ve got off to a good start. They’ve been indoctrinated into a way of life at Notre Dame, which requires a great attention to detail. They get an opportunity to be part of our weight training program. That development is crucial.” 

On learning from year one of the early signing period and spring official visits:
“The first year, you kind of said “Are they going to sign during the early signing period or are they going to default back to February?’ We signed all of them except for Isaiah. What we found is that the early signing date is the signing date. We learned that in year two. 

“All it means is everything has sped up by a couple months. The month of December makes it a little interesting because you’re balancing recruiting, preparing your team for the playoff and players being evaluated for the NFL. 

“It makes January a great month to get ahead and start looking at 2020 and 2021. I know we’re so much further along in the recruiting process than we’ve ever been. Having said that, it makes for a pretty intense and crazy December.” 

On finding good fits for Notre Dame:
“In any good operation, you have to have the skills. They have to have the skills to play national championship quality football. They have to have the skill set compete in one of the premier academic institutions. They also have to fit culturally here. 

“They have to understand you're coming into a holistic education and you’re going to develop spiritually, intellectually and socially. They have to be part of the campus and not isolated in a football dorm. Understanding what that means, being engaged of what’s going on and being involved. We have to find young men who understand what our community is about.” 

On new redshirt rule:
“I don’t know if it’s affected the early enrollees. The new redshirt rule has helped in some instances where you can get some game day action for some guys. I don’t think it changed the landscape of college football.

“It’s a good rule and helps guys stay engaged. You know who can play and who can’t play or who will be redshirted. It’s a nice carrot for the guys because they know they can get a couple games in. You can figure out if there are one or two guys who can help you later in the season.” 

 
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