Quick Hits from Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's opening spring press conference
It's 30 degrees and sunny in South Bend, with a chance of snow on Wednesday.
But for the Notre Dame football program, at least, the fact remains:
Spring has arrived.
Before the Irish kick off spring practices on Tuesday morning, ninth-year Irish head coach Brian Kelly met the media on Monday. Here are the highlights from Kelly's address.
-- Kelly was very complimentary of his team's growth during winter conditioning. "We've really been able to see a big difference in the endurance, conditioning-wise, of our football team," Kelly said. "We're able to do things we weren't able to do at this time last year."
-- Kelly said his team's winter workouts have been "at a different level" than they were at this time last year, when director of strength and conditioning Matt Balis was first instituting his program.
-- Notre Dame will name three captains on Tuesday, Kelly said. He has yet to announce those players to the team.
-- Kelly said quarterback Brandon Wimbush will go out with the first unit to start the spring. He was not ready to call Wimbush the "presumptive starter," however.
-- Sophomore quarterback Avery Davis may play more than just the quarterback position, Kelly said. Kelly complimented his athleticism and said that Davis will play on special teams.
-- Sophomore Jafar Armstrong, who did not play last season but was listed as a wide receiver, is listed as a wide receiver and a running back to start the spring. Kelly compared Armstrong's skill set to former Irish standouts Theo Riddick and C.J. Prosise.
-- Kelly confirmed that sophomore offensive lineman Robert Hainsey, who played right tackle last season, will start the spring with the first unit at the left tackle position.
-- Kelly said that he believes football has become even more of a priority for Wimbush, as far as spending extra time on weight training and film study. "It's great to see that he's taken his development to the next level," Kelly said.
-- Senior running back Dexter Williams has made "really positive strides in his volume of work," Kelly said. Williams, who battled injuries throughout his junior season, is healthy heading into the spring.
-- Kelly praised senior tight end Alize Mack's strides off the field and mentioned specifically that he hasn't been on any academic or disciplinary lists. Mack was academically ineligible for the 2016 season and was also suspended for the Citrus Bowl win over LSU.
-- Kelly will do 1-on-1 interviews with his players following the conclusion of spring practices, he said. He previously did exit interviews with his players following the 4-8 2016 season.
-- Early enrollee tight end George Takacs will miss the spring with an injury, Kelly said. He also called early enrollee linebacker Bo Bauer a "tiger in the weight room."
-- Kelly was optimistic about the freshman wide receiver group that will be arriving on campus this summer. "We've got some receivers coming that I think are going to be counted on in the depth (chart)."
-- Junior Jamir Jones will move from the linebacker to the weak side defensive end position, Kelly said.
-- Senior tight end Nic Weishar will be limited this spring with a shoulder injury, Kelly said.