Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Notre Dame news and notes

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Here's my story on Lo Wood's injury and the aftermath.

And here are some other notes:

--- Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly originally had scheduled early morning practices this week and next week to get his players ready for what will be a 9 a.m. eastern time kickoff in Dublin against Navy on Sept. 1.

But after two weeks of practices, Kelly changed his mind and scheduled afternoon practices throughout this week, which is the first week of classes at Notre Dame.

"I didn't want to get to a point where our guys were fatigued," Kelly said. "Getting up at 5:30 in the morning, I was concerned. We had a really good schedule, the guys felt good, their legs felt good. I didn't want to mess with that. Even though the master plan looked really good when we put it together. As we go through two weeks of practice, you get a sense of where your team is, I didn't think it was necessary for us to go (early) this week. (It's still) on the schedule for next week. I think that's more prudent, to be getting the kids up earlier, getting ready for that 9 a.m. start on their clock here."

--- USC transfer tailback Amir Carlisle is close to returning from his ankle injury, but he's not there yet.

"We're on a timetable that probably puts us into next week before we start to run him out again," Kelly said. "His spirits are good. He's confident in the plan that we have."

--- While senior Ben Turk will again be the Irish's punter, the kicking game is still up in the air. Senior Nick Tausch and sophomore Kyle Brindza are battling it out. There's a decent chance that Tausch will handle field goals and extra points, while Brindza will handle kickoffs. Kelly said there would be "two more auditions."

He also felt comfortable with Brindza next year, when Turk and Tausch will both be gone.

"Brindza gives you a lot of flexibility, because he can punt, kick off, and do your field goal (and) extra point work. If you're looking toward next year, there's a guy that could compete for all three of those positions."

--- Kelly said that while freshman receiver Davonte Neal is no longer an option to move to cornerback -- not after the Irish already moved Kaivarae Russell from running back to corner -- he raved about his ability as a receiver.

"From an offensive standpoint, he's an electric runner with the ball," Kelly said. "He's exciting with the ball in his hands. He's learning, every day's a new experience for him. But he comes with a great attitude and he loves the game."

--- Junior offensive tackle Tate Nichols (knee) likely will miss the Navy game, but could be back for Purdue, Kelly said.

--- As for the Ireland trip, Kelly's not a big fan of the travel and disruption the game is creating.

"I love everything about Ireland; I'm not a big fan of playing football games in Ireland, I'd rather play them right here," he said.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Lazerus published on August 21, 2012 4:48 PM.

Irish lose Lo Wood for the season was the previous entry in this blog.

Irish secondary believes it has it covered is the next entry in this blog.

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