UPDATE: Notre Dame football: Kelly fills in the blanks on QB situation
The comic relief in Brian Kelly's impromptu teleconference Tuesdayafternoon came courtesy of former Notre Dame quarterback Gunner Kiel.
Well, sort of.
It was a necessary question with a predictable answer.
In light of Everett Golson's recent involuntary deletion from the 2013Irish football roster, had the ND head coach reached out to his mostrecent voluntary defection?
"No, no," Kelly said after a chuckle and a pregnant pause. "That's notsomething that I've ever done or would I do. I'm going to coach theguys that want to be here at Notre Dame. Gunner had his reasons fornot wanting to be here."
Most of the questions, though, had to do with Golson and not theUniversity of Cincinnati's newest quarterback -- though Kelly waspressed on whether there were any more impending roster adjustments("Not that I'm aware of") and whether he expects defensive linerecruit Eddie Vanderdoes to be in summer school class on the ND campuson June 17 with the rest of his freshman class.
"None of those freshmen are here yet," he said/danced. "We'll see whoshows up. There's always a surprise or two. We hope they're all herewhen they're asked to report in June."
Later on Tuesday, Vanderdoes -- a 6-foot-3, 305-pound, five-starprospect from Auburn, Calif. -- contacted Sacramento Bee reporter JoeDavidson to tell him the he would be issuing a statement about hisfuture "soon ... as speculation keeps moving further from the truth."
Recently unconfirmed reports surfaced that Vanderdoes was trying toget out of his letter-of-intent to attend Notre Dame and insteadattend another school, with UCLA as the likely landing spot.
Golson's likely landing spot, meanwhile, remains Notre Dame, inJanuary of 2014. Golson said as much in the statement he issued Sundaythrough the university. Kelly reiterated that Tuesday. The 6-foot,186-pound Myrtle Beach, S.C., product would then have two seasons ofeligibility remaining.
"There are defining moments in everybody's life and mistakes are made,especially (by) young kids," Kelly said. "I think Everett's going totake this and I think it's really going to be truly his definingmoment that he's going to grow and learn and live from this mistake.
"I have a great deal of confidence that we're going to see a young manback here at Notre Dame. I'm hopeful of that. It's up to him and whatthe university has in front of him, but I always look at thepositives, and I believe this is going to be an opportunity forEverett to really grow."
Golson confirmed Sunday that he has been suspended by the universityfor the summer and for fall semester for what he terms "poor academicjudgment."
That suggests a violation of the academic code, as Tribune sources hadalluded, rather than falling short of a prescribed grade-pointaverage.
"I'm on 30 years now in college football, and it's like being a dad,"Kelly said. "You're disappointed, but you know these things happen.And you want your players to be accountable. So there's a big sense ofpride in knowing Everett handled himself in the right way.
"He took full accountability and responsibility. He's going to doeverything in his power to get himself back here at Notre Dame. So(I'm) disappointed certainly that it occurred, but not surprised. Youcan't be surprised when you're working with 18- to 21-year-olds. I'mnot surprised my 16-year-old knucklehead son comes home and does crazythings."
Golson, Kelly said, would have to win the job back in the spring of2014 and continue to prove himself on a day-to-day basis.
"I've got to improve myself every day," Kelly said.
Kelly's immediate proving ground is trying to find a 2013 starter fromthe three remaining options -- senior Tommy Rees (18-4 as a starter),senior Andrew Hendrix (with eight career relief appearances) and earlyenrolled freshman Malik Zaire.
All three, Kelly said, would be given the opportunity to win the job.More likely, Kelly will mix and match, at least early in the season.
Still unanswered is whether Golson would need to take classessomewhere between now and January, and if so where. Kelly was alsouncertain exactly how much contact the QB could have with the team inthe interim.
In addressing speculation that Golson would end up transferring toanother school, Kelly said Tuesday that neither he nor the NDCompliance Office has been contacted by any school regarding Golson'savailability.
He added that Golson's family is fully behind him landing back at ND.So is the Notre Dame family.
"I think across the country you're dealing with young men that aregoing to make mistakes," Kelly said. "Here at Notre Dame, we're goingto hold you accountable, but we're also going to give you andopportunity that if you do the right things, you're going to get asecond chance. And that's a good thing."
Allen names top 5
The player considered to be ND's top quarterback target in the 2014recruiting class, Kyle Allen, narrowed his options to five finalistson Tuesday.
The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder from Desert Mountain High in Scottsdale,Ariz., kept Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, UCLA and Texas A&Min the running. Among those missing the cut were national championAlabama and nearby Arizona State.
ND is the only one of the five finalists he hasn't visited, but heplans to do so on June 10-11.
"I talk to (offensive coordinator Chuck) Martin a lot," Allen toldRivals.com. "He's a great guy. They're a national power. It's anunbelievable opportunity."
Staff writer Eric Hansen: