Quick Hits: Notre Dame QBs Zaire, Kizer will both play against Texas

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

Wednesday is Media Day at Notre Dame, which means that local media members get to watch an Irish press conference in the morning and speak with players and coaches in the afternoon.

Head coach Brian Kelly kicked off interviews with a press conference at 2 p.m. Here are some highlights from the seventh-year Irish head coach's address.

- Both senior Malik Zaire and junior DeShone Kizer will play at quarterback in the season opener at Texas, Kelly said. Both quarterbacks have been told to prepare to play on Sept. 4, and Kelly said the coaches are confident they can win with both players. He added that his decision to play two quarterbacks was made this early in camp because it was evident both Zaire and Kizer would continue to make plays, and neither player was going to fade or pull away. "These two guys are too good," Kelly said.

- Notre Dame junior defensive end Jay Hayes has a grade 1 high ankle sprain, Kelly said. Hayes, the starter at weak side defensive end, did not practice on Wednesday and should miss roughly seven to 10 days. Kelly was confident that Hayes will be available for the opener at Texas.

- Kelly said that junior middle linebacker Nyles Morgan has been "consistently solid" in fall camp. The seventh-year Irish coach added that junior Greer Martini has also been getting reps at the middle linebacker position to add depth.

- The coaches expect to play the hot hand at the running back position, as they did last season. Kelly noted, however, that his running backs have different strengths. senior Tarean Folston excels inside the tackles, while sophomore Josh Adams is more lethal on the edge. Kelly added that sophomore Dexter Williams is more of a well-rounded runner.

- The current freshman class has come into fall camp with more confidence and desire to play than any in his time at Notre Dame, Kelly said. He singled out running back Tony Jones Jr. and wide receiver Chase Claypool, though he added that because of the depth at the positions, neither will likely play much in 2016.

- Kelly mentioned two players who were not always on the radar who should contribute in 2016: right guard Colin McGovern and wide receiver Miles Boykin.

Notre Dame Head Football Coach Brian Kelly speaks to media at his season-opening press conference Friday, August 5, 2016 in South Bend. Tribune photo/BECKY MALEWITZ