Notre Dame football practice notes 3-18

IRISH STEW

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Plenty of faces of note attended Notre Dame's opening practice of the spring Wednesday morning.

At the top of that list was former University at Buffalo head coach Jeff Quinn. A former assistant coach of Brian Kelly's at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan, and Cincinnati, Quinn stood near Kelly for much of the start of Wednesday's practice. We'll see how Kelly describes Quinn's relationship to the Notre Dame program later this morning.

UPDATE: Kelly announced Quinn has joined the staff as an offensive analyst in an off-the-field role.

Former Irish offensive linemen Zack Martin and Chris Watt also attended Wednesday's practice. Both recently attended a Kelly Cares event in New York with Kelly and his wife, Paqui.

Four-star recruit A.J. Taylor was also on the sidelines for Wednesday's practice inside the Loftus Sports Center. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound prospect from Kansas City, Mo., arrived in South Bend on Tuesday. Rivals ranks him as the No. 10 athlete and No. 128 regardless of position in the 2015 class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 45 running back.

The unofficial starting units in tempo drills from practice appeared as follows:

Offense — quarterback Everett Golson, running back Tarean Folston, wide receivers Chris Brown, Amir Carlisle and Will Fuller, tight end Durham Smythe, and offensive linemen Ronnie Stanley, Quenton Nelson, Nick Martin, Steve Elmer and Mike McGlinchey.

Defense — defensive ends Romeo Okwara and Isaac Rochell, defensive tackles Sheldon Day and Jacob Matuska, linebackers Jaylon Smith Nyles Morgan and James Onwualu, cornerbacks Cole Luke and Devin Butler and safeties Max Redfield and Elijah Shumate.

Linebacker Jarrett Grace, who Kelly said was cleared for practice, appeared healthier than at any time last season. He ran through drills with the rest of the linebacker unit.

Fellow linebacker Joe Schmidt, still recovering from a season-ending ankle injury in November, participated on a limited basis without a helmet to start Wednesday's practice.

Safety Drue Tranquill, well ahead of schedule in his return from ACL surgery on his left knee, was also limited in practice.

Defensive tackle Jarron Jones (Lisfranc injury) rode a stationary bike to start practice. 

Notre Dame's Jarrett Grace during practice on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, inside the Loftus Sports Center at Notre Dame in South Bend. SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)