Notebook: New Notre Dame coordinator Greg Hudson preps for role in recruiting

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — Eventually, Brian Kelly figures, recently anointed Notre Dame defensive coordinator Greg Hudson will have a normal work week.

And when he does, recruiting will be on his plate as well.

In fact, the Irish head coach said Thursday night after practice that Hudson is prepping to take the NCAA compliance test that will allow him to join the Irish recruiting efforts, once he passes it.

“You can imagine, it has not been a priority this week for him,” Kelly said of the former behind-the-scenes defensive analyst. “But it is something that has been addressed. (He’ll be) taking the exam next week, and we’ll get him going in recruiting. There will certainly be a role.”

Hudson replaced Brian VanGorder, who was fired Sunday four games into his third season with the Irish and whose recruiting role had been limited.

Notre Dame (1-3) takes on Syracuse Saturday (noon EDT; ESPN) at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. It’s the eighth all-time meeting between the schools.

Soft landing for cliffhanger

On Tuesday Kelly left plenty of room to read between the lines on his non-conclusive answer about how senior Malik Zaire was adapting to the role of No. 2 quarterback.

“It's evolving,” Kelly said at the time. “Are you going to be here Thursday? You will be? Ask me Thursday.”

The reporter didn’t return Thursday, but the question did. And the answer was, well, not very soap opera-esque at all.

“He’s done a nice job,” Kelly said of Zaire, who shared No. 1 snaps with DeShone Kizer in the opener four weeks ago. “I’m proud of him, because DeShone’s not perfect, and (Zaire) is a really good quarterback. So you’ve got to think of the dynamic there.

“You can understand he’s probably gnashing his teeth sometimes going, ‘Hey, give me a shot here. What’s the deal? We’re 1-3.’ But he’s being a team player, and he’s out there working hard. I’m proud of the way he’s handled himself.”

Bowling Green in 2019

The Irish continue to fill in future schedules, and Bowling Green announced Thursday it has scheduled a date with the Irish in 2019 at Notre Dame Stadium, Oct. 5 of that year to be exact.

It will be the first meeting between the two schools in football.

The tentative schedule that season now has seven home games and five roads games, meaning that if ND wants to schedule an off-site Shamrock Series home game that season, it would have to flip one of the existing home games to a neutral site.

Personnel matters

Sophomore defensive tackle Micah Dew-Treadway, per Kelly, continues to make progress coming back from foot surgery on Aug. 10 for a Jones fracture.

“That’s a six-to-eight-week process,” Kelly said. “I think we’ll start to move him on Monday. He’s already sat a year, so we’re going to try to activate him as quickly as possible. It’s just a matter of how quickly we can get him moving and get something out of him.”

Before the injury, Dew-Treadway was running No. 2 at defensive tackle to fellow sophomore Jerry Tillery. Dew-Treadway’s next game action would also be his first at ND.

• Kelly hopes to get a more definitive view of cornerback Nick Watkins’ options once the junior gets his left arm X-rayed on Friday.

The one-time starter suffered a broken arm midway through spring practice last April and has been slow to recover. The X-ray will likely help Kelly determine whether a medical redshirt is in Watkins’ best interests or trying to get him ready to become part of the depth at cornerback makes the most sense.

A call to Diaco

Kelly was in touch with his defensive coordinator at Notre Dame from 2010-13, Bob Diaco, earlier this week.

UConn, where Diaco is the third-year head coach, lost to Syracuse, 31-24 last weekend, but the Huskies managed to limit the Orange to 66 offensive plays.

That’s roughly 20 fewer than Syracuse is averaging this season and the fewest a Dino Babers-coached team has amassed since his 2014 Bowling Green team totaled 60 in a 51-17 loss to Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship Game.

“We didn’t get into the specifics of that, relative to plays,” Kelly said. “We had some questions relative to some personnel issues.”


Twitter: @EHansenNDI

Greg Hudson (left), here with Skip Holtz when the two former Notre Dame players were coaching at East Carolina, assumes deposed Brian VanGorder's role as Irish defensive coordinator. (AP File Photo/SARA D. DAVIS)