Calabrese, Fox battling to be Te'o's sidekick
One of the most-watched position battles during training camp has been at weakside linebacker, where juniors Carlo Calabrese and Dan Fox are competing for the starting spot. It's a critical position because opponents will likely attempt to run away from strong-side linebacker Manti Te'o, who led the Irish with 133 tackles last season, which was the most of any player since Tony Furjanic had 147 in 1983. Te'o also led the team with 15 tackles for loss.
"Carlo has been very professional," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. "There has been one of the five days where he didn't start [practice] well but he finished well. Carlo is doing well at the 'Will'. Fox has still got to close on him."
Calabrese started the first eight games last season before suffering a hamstring injury. He finished with 60 tackles.
Fox was primarly a special teams standout last season and will likely see more playing time in 2011 even if he doesn't win the job from Calabrese.
"Both those guys, I really like them a lot," Kelly said of the pair. "They have got a chance to play a lot of football."
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