Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Fox beats out Calabrese, other news

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Dayne Crist being named the starting quarterback wasn't the only news from Brian Kelly's news conference on Tuesday.

--- Dan Fox beat out Carlo Calabrese for the starting job at weakside linebacker. "Last year, he was not a guy who liked contact. He likes contact now," Kelly said of Fox. "... He had a shoulder injury when we got here. He had to fight through that. He had to develop a toughness to him, a physicality because when he walked in he had all the tools."

Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco: "We see them both as starters." 

---  Former Glenbard West standout Chris Watt will start at left guard over senior Andrew Nuss. 

--- Kyle Brindza will handle kickoffs this season, allowing David Ruffer, who converted 23 of 24 field-goal attempts last year, to concentrate on placekicking.

--- Kelly was so pleased by how his team performed in training camp that he gave players Tuesday off to concentrate on the first day of classes. With the training camp portion of the season having concluded, preparation for South Florida begins in Wednesday.

--- Freshman safety Eilar Hardy will miss the season after undergoing season-ending knee surgery. "Other than that, we do not have anybody we'll lose for the entire season," Kelly said. "If we can keep in that vain and move in that direction from an injury standpoint it would be a great change from last year. We suffered way to many injuries last year."

--- Diaco said Sean Cwynar will be the starter at nose guard. 

--- Kelly said freshmen DeVaris Daniels (receiver) , Cam McDaniel and George Atkinson III (running backs), and Troy Niklas (defensive end/linebacker) will all play on special teams this season and perhaps on offensive and/or defense as well.

"I don't want to paint these guys just as [special teams] players but I'm confident they will be on the field in some capacity," 

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on August 23, 2011 12:00 PM.

Kelly names Crist the starter was the previous entry in this blog.

Backup running back remains in flux is the next entry in this blog.

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