Quick Hits: Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly's first preseason press conference
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly spoke to reporters Thursday ahead of the start of preseason camp Friday for the Irish. Notre Dame will once again head to Culver Academies for five days for the first practices of August.
Kelly addressed a number of topics on Thursday including:
• The football program is encouraging Notre Dame fans to wear green for the season opener against Michigan on Sept. 1. Kelly said the football team will likely wear their traditional navy blue home uniforms, but he hasn't made a final decision. Kelly said there will be additional green elements in Notre Dame Stadium.
• Defensive end Julian Okwara added 11 pounds since spring practice, up to 241 pounds. "He had to make a choice of putting on this kind of weight, and he did it the right way," Kelly said.
• Kelly said new defensive coordinator Clark Lea has been consistent with his message to his players. "He is a great teacher and communicator," Kelly said.
• On running back Dexter Williams: "The best summer that he's had since he's been here," Kelly said. When asked if Williams will be available to start the season, Kelly did not answer directly. "He's going to be on our roster. We'll see who ends up playing against Michigan," Kelly said.
• Kelly didn't name a starting quarterback on Thursday, but he did say he wants one player to emerge ahead of the Michigan game. "I don't want to go into the game having to play more than one quarterback," Kelly said. He gave Brandon Wimbush an A-plus grade for his progress and work this summer.
• Kelly said he knows Liam Eichenberg can play left tackle after the spring he had. The confidence Eichenberg showed really stood out to Kelly. "He's had great improvement," Kelly said.
• What has allowed freshman safety Houston Griffith to put himself in a position to play early? "At the safety position, he could play corner. He has that kind of skill level at a high level," Kelly said. Kelly also highlighted Griffith's functional intelligence as a player.
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