Kelly announces 2014 Notre Dame signing class

BOB WIENEKE
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND -- During his signing day press conference, Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly singled out the depth across the board the 23 signed members of his class bring.

But beyond that ...

"It's about the front seven and the offensive line," Kelly said Wednesday. "Yeah, there's some great skill players that I'll talk about, but you're winning up front."

Four offensive linemen signed with the Irish on Wednesday, while the staff was able to land six defensive linemen, although one, Jhonny Williams of Berrien Springs, projects as a rush outside linebacker.

One of those defensive linemen -- Daniel Cage of Cincinnati -- joined the class on Wednesday when he picked the Irish over Michigan State. Later in the morning, defensive tackle Courtney Garnett of New Orleans picked Oklahoma over the Irish.

The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Cage visited Notre Dame over the weekend.

"The guy's a ferocious player. We love the way he got off the ball," Kelly said. "He's a guy that's very disruptive inside. He's got a real good nose for the football."

In terms of the offensive line, Kelly saw a common attribute in the four he was able to sign.

"You're going to see that there are athletic components to all these guys," Kelly said.

Earlier Tuesday, the Irish lost out on cornerback Terrence Alexander, who picked Stanford over the Irish.

ND remains in the hunt on a pair of standouts.

Safety/wide receiver JuJu Smith of Long Beach, Calif. has planned a 4 p.m. (Eastern) announcement. Smith, in addition to ND, is down to Oregon, USC and UCLA. 

Fresno, Calif., wide receiver Michiah Quick, who was scheduled to make his announcement late Wednesday afternoon, signed with Oklahoma.

Brian Kelly speaks at the Notre Dame Signing Day press conference. SBT Photo/SANTIAGO FLORES