Chat Transcript: Talking life after Lea, Notre Dame FB recruiting, and ND-Clemson 2

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

Eric Hansen: Welcome to Notre Dame Football Live Chat, Clemson Part 2 edition. We'll skip the rules today and start with a quick recruiting update, which should answer some questions. As of noon ET, Notre Dame had signed 22 of the 24 players who had previously verbally committed. LB Kia Kahanu is expected to sign shortly. Because of the time difference, he couldn't sign per NCAA rules until noon ET at the earliest.

The other committed recruit ND has yet to sign is RB Logan Diggs, who according to our recruiting guy (Carter Karels), is still considering doing so but also received a late offer from home-state school LSU. The Irish may sign RB Audric Estime, a four-star RB from New Jersey, who's been committed to Michigan State and originally planned to sign in February.

OK, one last reminder. Please include your NAME and HOMETOWN with your question. Eric Hansen: Off we go.

Steve from St Louis: Thanks for the chats. Do you think Clark Lea takes anyone with him to Vanderbilt or is that off the table? Is the new defensive coordinator currently on staff and, if so, how do you see coach Brian Kelly filling out the rest of the staff?

Eric Hansen: I'd be surprised if someone on the staff left to go to Vandy. It would have to be a position coach getting a coordinator job, and I think even that would be a tough sell, given the state of the two programs right now. As I tweeted the other day, I think Brian Kelly owes it to himself and the program to do a national search. But my opinion is that search will result in him coming to the conclusion that the best option all the way around is on his staff. And that's Mike Elston. Of the outside DC candidates, I like Cincinnati's Marcus Freeman the best. If it is Elston, he could go outside and hire a linebackers coach or promote senior defensive analyst Nick Lezynski to linebackers coach. Lezynski is a rising star and someone Clark Lea would have his eye on as well. The reason I didn't include him earlier in potential departures is because he is technically in a non-coaching position, but he actually has done a lot of coaching at ND and elsewhere as a grad assistant, primarily. He's a former ND walk-on with strong recruiting skills.

John from Appleton, Wis.: It seems to be a common thought that this move by Clark Lea might set him up to return when Brian Kelly leaves. Do you see Vandy being a stepping stone job for Clark?

Eric Hansen: Vanderbilt is a more attractive job to Clark Lea than it would be for a lot of wanna-be head coaches. Not only is it his alma mater, it's in his hometown of Nashville, so now his kids get to be around their grandparents all the time. I don't think he would be in a hurry to leave, but I think he's smart enough to know it's going to be very difficult to push the program past the ceiling that James Franklin did. So yes, it's a stepping stone, but one he's very comfortable with.

Ed from Palm Beach: Eric ... merry merry ... What is your take on teams playing fewer games to be considered for playoff? It seems to me Big Ten and Pac 12 politicked the system to overcome their short-sighted outlook last summer. Shouldn't they take a back seat? Thanks.

Eric Hansen: It's 2020. We're in a pandemic. So the rules have to be contorted and adapted to our circumstances. Having said that, there needs to be a sense of fairness and perspective, and I don't think the College Football Playoff committee is universally applying that. I think The Big Ten should have gone out and scheduled a game for Ohio State last weekend, in or out of conference. It seems the CFP committee is willing to ignore Ohio State's lack of games, but hammered Cincinnati (which has played more games) for its games getting postponed the past couple of weeks. I voted Ohio State No. 4 in the AP poll this past week and was VERY uneasy about it. But I have Cincinnati 5th, not 9th and falling. My biggest head-scratcher with the committee was dropping a two-loss Florida team one spot after losing at home Saturday to a severely depleted LSU team with a losing record.

Paul Latino from Wappingers, N.Y.: Eric, Now that Clark Lea is going to get head coaching experience, do you think this gives him the inside track to the ND job when Brian Kelly retires. Or will it depend on his won/lost record at Vanderbilt?

Eric Hansen: I think it will depend on a lot of things: When Brian Kelly decides to walk away. How Clark does at Vandy. Whether other candidates emerge with better credentials. Whether Jack Swarbrick is still the athletic director. ... I like Clark a lot, but I am open to other very desirable scenarios playing out as well.

Jeff from Cincinnati: Hi Eric; Merry Xmas to you and your family, and thanks for taking my question. Mike Elston would appear to be a logical favorite to ascend to the defensive coordinator role, given his long and successful track record with Brian Kelly. However, do you think there is a possibility he prefers a position-specific role ? Why do you think he was passed over for Clark Lea in 2018, the last time the DC role was open? Thanks very much.

Eric Hansen: Jeff, Merry Christmas to you, too. This is a really good question that I'm glad someone asked. Both when Mike Elko was hired and again when Clark was promoted, Mike Elston interviewed for the job. And from what I hear, he killed it in the interview. Both times. But Brian Kelly definitely couldn't hire him after the 2016 season. Perceptually, it would have sent the wrong message, with all the staff turnover and bringing in a lot of coaches from the outside. When Elko left after one season, the only way Brian Kelly could keep both Clark and Mike was to promote Clark, not that Clark wasn't incredibly deserving. Otherwise, Lea likely would have gone to A&M with Elko. Kelly then promoted Elston to associate head coach, which came with more money and more responsibility. Elston has been a team player at every juncture, and ND has benefited immensely because of it.

Phil from Litchfield, Conn.: Hi Eric. Thanks again for the great weekly chats. All of the reports I've seen about Clark Lea taking over the Vandy job report that he's staying in his current defensive coordinator role at ND for the ACC Championship on Saturday, but silent on the specific plans after Saturday. I'm guessing he's gone to the new job next week, win or lose on Saturday. He needs to get on with his new team and his new job. What do you think is happening? Would he even consider staying for the final 4? Who takes over as interim defensive coordinator? Mike Elston?

Eric Hansen: Phil, there's some gray area there, and part of that may be hinging on whether ND makes the playoff. Since the early signing period will be over before ND takes the field Saturday vs. Clemson, there's not an urgency to be at Vandy full time yet. I think ND's players have the expectation Clark will stay until the season ends. Again that may be in a more limited capacity. Brian Kelly meets the media today at 4:30, and we should get more clarity at that point. If there's a period in which an interim defensive coordinator is needed, then Elston is the logical choice.

Dennis from Grand Rapids, Mich.: Hi Eric. First-time questioner. Love your chats. You are superb at responding and answering all of our questions. I have one question for you. Why is Brock Wright not getting any love from anyone? On almost all of our running back touchdowns, he has excelled at blocking his man. Hasn't whiffed on many blocking assignments. Announcers always praise our offensive line (as they should ), ut no mention of Brock. When the announcers talk about tight ends, they talk about Michael Mayer and Tommy Tremble (as they should ), but no mention of Brock. I personally think Brock has done a great job. By the way, I am in no way related to Brock or anything. I just feel he should get a shoutout, and that's what I'm doing. Interested in your opinion. Thanks and, as always, Go Irish!!!!!!!!

Eric Hansen: Thanks for the Eric Hansen love and for asking a question. I can understand your point of view. I hope you can understand mine (and that of other media). I'm sure Brock Wright gets love from his teammates (and now YOU). I'm not minimizing his contributions, but if you're writing a story, you're looking for the exceptional, especially when it comes to blocking. Like a key block on a big play. or Kyren Williams' off-the-charts, game-changing blitz pickups against Clemson. Or Quenton Nelson being Quenton Nelson. It's very difficult to work into a story that "ND's third option at tight end did a good job, too." There are a lot of unsung heroes on a successful football team, and he's certainly one of them.

Caleb from Charlotte, N.C.: I really like Clark Lea and hope that he's very successful at Vanderbilt. I don't think the administration at Vandy expects the football team to be a serious contender for a national championship or even an SEC championship. What do you think would constitute a successful season at Vandy?


Eric Hansen: Zero in on the James Franklin years, and you've got your answer.

Michael from Chicago: Is ND taking RPIII an indicator that they are seriously concerned about Brendon Clark being able to continue to play football? And can you please clear up how it's being treated (full scholarship or preferred walk-on). If it's a full scholarship and coach Kelly has already said he met with every player and knows who is/isn't coming back, that would seem to indicate they either know they're not getting a recruit (CB Ceyair Wright) or there will be more subtraction from the current roster?

Eric Hansen: RPIII, for those not familiar with the acronym, is ND associate athletic director/football Ron Powlus' son. The younger Powlus played QB locally here at Penn High School and had one Power 5 offer among his five total. My colleagues, Tyler James and Carter Karels, are trying to sort out how to classify him. The coaching staff was kind of touchy when it came to doing the same with Montgomery VanGorder when he was at ND. My sense is there's a loophole as a family member to be on some kind of scholarship and not count against the 85. If we don't have clarity by the time the chat ends, we hope to get it at BK's Zoom conference at 4:30 ET.

Lee from Lancaster, S.C.: I haven't heard any of the recruiting services mention that the Irish were interested in signing Ron Powlus III. Is he projected to be as skilled a quarterback as his father was?

Eric Hansen: Ron Powlus, the father, was the No. 1 player in the country regardless of position as a high school senior. The son is a nice athlete who had a three-star ranking and limited offers. That's not to put a ceiling on him, but to show the expectations are certainly different.

Mike from Rochester N.Y.: Eric, of the remaining recruits ND was targeting, was Clark Lea the lead recruiter for any of them?

Eric Hansen: Not of the unsigned ones, no.

Sue Kovensky from Hollidaysburg, Pa.: Eric, your coverage of ND football does not go unnoticed. I was wondering about the academic side of things. How many of our seniors/fifth-year players possess an ND degree? My all-time favorite player, No. 6 "Wu" has another year of eligibility, but it really doesn’t make any sense for him to return next season due to NFL $$ and popularity. Do you actually think he can win any/all of the postseason awards?!? I pray that the Irish defense shows up Saturday in Charlotte and that coach Clark Lea goes out with a bang. Thank you and Happy Holidays. ☘️

Eric Hansen: Thank you, Sue, and Happy Holidays to you. All the Notre Dame fifth- and sixth-year players have a degree either from Notre Dame or Northwestern (Ben Skowronek), NC State (Nick McCloud) or Ohio State (Isaiah Pryor). Notre Dame puts its players on a pace to complete their undergrad coursework by the first semester of their senior years. Some (Micah Jones for one) do so even faster. Because of the NCAA's COVID rule, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah actually would have two years left at ND if he wanted them. I too expect him to enter the 2021 NFL Draft, but with an ND degree. My prediction is he'll win at least one of the awards he is up for.

Mike from Lemont, Ill.: Eric, your two favorite talking points: Math and Hypotheticals! Let's say ND beats Clemson, and 'Bama beats Florida and somehow Clemson makes it in as No. 4. Clemson beats 'Bama and ND beats Ohio State. ND loses in the title game to Clemson. So ND finishes 12-1 and Clemson finishes 11-2. Can you imagine if ND had to beat Clemson three times? I saw somewhere that Justin Fields had a higher QB rating vs. Indiana than Book had vs. Clemson. Fields had three picks. Three! Think it is time to review how QB rating is calculated. Kind of like MLB's WAR (wins above replacement). Finally, should we be concerned with Chris Fowler and Herby doing the game Saturday night? OR should Clemson? Because every game they have done this year has been a blowout. Just under the 17-part question limit. Thanks for the chats and Merry Christmas to you and your family. Go IRISH!

Eric Hansen: Hi Mike. Happy Holidays. Yes, ND and Clemson could end up playing three times. And it was interesting what CFP selection committee chair Gary Barta said Tuesday night on the post-TV conference call with the media, that, in essence, this committee wouldn't tweak the top 4 to avoid a potential Clemson-ND rematch in the national semis. That's a departure from previous committees' stated philosophy and interpretation.


As far as the Justin Fields/Ian Book thing, the formula doesn't take into account clutch plays or degree of difficulty of the opponents. It's a straight math equation, with TD passes maybe a bit overemphasized. And I wouldn't be concerned about a Herbie jinx. It's 2020. Anything can happen, and sometimes it can be good.

Matt from Hayward, Calif.: Does ND tweak its recruiting strategy after going all in on running back Will Shipley and missing? I know it was an unconventional approach, but do they bag it after this experience?

Eric Hansen: I think they look at each situation individually. I'm not so sure if there wasn't a pandemic going on, that their strategy with Shipley wouldn't have worked.

Mark from Orange County, Calif.: Hi Eric. So on Saturday ND is playing for a conference championship. Never thought I would be typing that sentence, but just another part of this "unique" year. Did not like the stat about historically the loser of the first matchup wins the next meetings. Hopefully, ND can break that trend. If ND wins the coin toss, do you think Brian Kelly would choose to put his offense or defense on the field for the first drive?

Eric Hansen: Hi Mark. I expect ND, if it wins the toss, will take the ball.

Bill from Toronto: Eric — squeezed in another Wednesday this year. Do you anticipate any other coaching turnover outside of coach Lea?

Eric Hansen: No, but when you have a year like ND is having, the Irish assistants will be in demand, so never say never.

Ray from Chicago: I know ND has a few candidates at running back who could sign with the Irish, but do you think since Kyren Williams and Chris Tyree are both underclassman that the urgency is not as great? Also, would you see C'Bo Flemister staying around next year or transferring elsewhere?

Eric Hansen: Ray, Notre Dame wants two running backs in this class. Williams and Tyree are talented enough that they could be three-and-out when it comes to the NFL Draft. Right now there's a depth issue, so yes, more quality running backs are needed. That's what big-time programs do. They stack good players on top of good players. C'Bo transferring? I'm not sure why. No. 1 he has a role. No. 2, the transfer portal is overflowing with fewer landing spots available than there are people looking for a safe landing.

Tim from Pleasant Prairie, Wis.: Eric, I am listening to your podcast with Dan Wetzel, and it sounds like he's one of those gents advocating for the easy-solution to the playoff team selection issue in the future. That is to expand to eight teams, automatically put the five Power 5 conference champs in plus three at-large teams. Every time I hear this idea I seethe. Just because a team wins a conference does not necessarily make it one of the top five or even eight teams in the nation. If the goal is to get the top five or eight, and not just to be fair to all the conferences, then this idea has serious flaws. Your thoughts?

Eric Hansen: Tim. I'm sorry. My read was just the opposite, that Dan made the point that these conference championship games were nothing more than money-makers and that conference champ as a criterion for the CFP was overstated. I absolutely agree with that.

Jim Tal from Valley Center, Calif.: Hi Eric, hope all is well with you. By the way, the last two podcasts have been really informative and interesting. Keep up the good work. On one of those aforementioned podcasts, Mike Farrell of said that Tyler Buchner was having some mechanical and accuracy issues due to a change in his throwing motion. He made it sound like it's somewhat of a real concern. What have you heard and should Irish fans be worried about this situation? After all, a lot is riding on Buchner coming to South Bend and being a legitimate force if not a flat-out star. The thought that he might be struggling with his technique is troublesome. And if there is something going on, can the Irish coaching staff get it squared away? Thanks as always.

Eric Hansen: Jim thanks for the kind words and thanks for listening. Keep a couple of things in mind. Tyler Buchner did not have a high school season this year, so he's getting a lot of advice outside the framework of playing in games and then trying to apply it. I think Tyler enrolling early will put him back on the path of an accelerated development arc. The young man impresses the hell out of me.


Eric Hansen: He's at least healthy enough to contribute and probably has shaken some of the rust. I wouldn't expect him to be a major factor in the Clemson game, but his skill set opens the door for him to have a big play or two, which is significant.

Denis from Niagara Falls, Ontario: Good afternoon, Eric. I have not been a he's-a-5-star-let-him-play Jordan Johnson bandwagoner. I still don't think I am. But with two weeks for preparation, is it likely that ND gives him five plays or so. I'm thinking ND might have to change things up a little for this game. Perhaps JJ can catch Clemson off guard and he gets in a big play. A bit of a surprise. Or is it just a wasted down or two. Thanks very much. Enjoyed your Boise story. Always wanted to go there. Perhaps I will when travel becomes possible again.

Eric Hansen: Denis, thank you. It makes more sense to incorporate Braden Lenzy at this point than Jordan Johnson. In 2021 they both should see more playing time, as will a healthy Kevin Austin. But on Saturday, I would trust Lenzy in that situation more than Johnson.

Dwight from Arkansas: While we are most directed to the on-field happenings, I think a lot of us appreciate as well the updates on former Irish. Louis Nix was a very popular player, to teammates and fans. It was heartbreaking to hear of his shooting. Thanks for the info on Nix and, hopefully, you can keep us updated on his condition from time-to-time.

Eric Hansen: Dwight, thanks. Louis was kind enough to call me twice from his hospital bed. I will keep everyone in the loop.

Matt from St. Louis: Hi Eric. Can you help me understand something? Brian Kelly commented on his coaches being professionals and not letting job interviews and hires get in the way of their work. For Lea, that seems to include finishing out the season at ND. What is the difference and the reasons behind that versus Brian Kelly leaving Cincinnati before the biggest game in their history to take the ND coaching job? I’m not trying to be critical, I’m just trying to see what factors played into both and where the differences are. Thank you!

Eric Hansen: Matt, I actually asked him the question that elicited that response about professionals, so let's start there. The question was about allowing it (or not) from becoming a distraction. And you can interview for a new job and keep it from distracting you and your players or you can let it become a circus for all. I figured Clark would know how to handle it. Having him stay on could become a distraction too, so you have to handle that in the right way. But these are two very different situations. Back in those days when Brian Kelly was at UC, the big recruiting signing date was early February. Now it's mid-December. So the ability to juggle two jobs is easier now in many cases. In BK's situation back in December of 2009, it was take the job on Notre Dame's terms, which was right away, or be passed over. Had Cincinnati been No. 2 in the polls, it would have had a chance to play for the national title. And that almost happened. BK told me if Cincy was No. 2 and was playing for a national title, he wouldn't have been able to accept ND's terms and would have coached the Bearcats in national championship game instead of taking his dream job.

Again, every situation is different. If Notre Dame were vying for a spot in the Cheez-It Bowl or Duke's Mayo Bowl, then Clark Lea probably would leave for Vanderbilt much sooner than he will under the current circumstances.

Nick from San Francisco: Do you have a sense if ND reached out to McKenzie Milton about a potential transfer (sounds like he’s headed to FSU)? Seems like it would have been a great fit. Could Chase Brice (Duke) or any other QBs on the move be on their radar? Thank you as always for the fantastic reporting.

Eric Hansen: Nick. thank you. I don't think ND will want to make a final decision on a grad transfer QB until after spring, which would have ruled out Milton and a bunch of others who want to be at their new schools in time for spring practice. Even if Brendon Clark's knee knee injury turns out to be serious, the ND coaches owe it to themselves to give spring reps to Tyler Buchner and Drew Pyne to see what they have in those two. There will be good transfer candidates after spring practice for ND to consider if they feel the need to go in that direction at that time.

Mike from Rochester, N.Y.: Eric, wondering why you’d rate an OSU team with a suspect defense and limited schedule over a one-loss Texas A&M team or unbeaten Cincinnati team?

Eric Hansen: Because Texas A&M has a suspect offense and a loss and Cincinnati doesn't have a top 25 win. I agonized between Nos. 4 and 5 the most in making my top 25 this week. Here's a link to my ballot.

Danny from Shamong, N.J.: Any word on Donovan Edwards?

Eric Hansen: Headed to Michigan.

FarmerDoug: from Garner, N.C.: “Hi Y’all.” Eric. Quick thanks for the Trib’s great coverage of all things Irish, especially this weekly forum for your thorough and well-written analysis. Brings back memories of getting the SBT delivered in the mail daily to Irish-info-starved dad and son during the title years of the ‘70s and ‘80s, of which a few cherished copies recently saw daylight to show my kids and compare to recent title runs. I offer a season-long wish, your educated guess on a question, and a local note. Wish: With the ever-improving domination of ND’s running game, to see a 400-plus-yard ground effort this Saturday (Irish win by 23) that includes our version of a student-body-left run, not once but twice, and see how that opens up the pass game. Question: How soon and how often is Trevor Lawrence blitzed and sacked? Local note: Seeing my ND sweatshirt, the great majority of fans ‘round these parts offer hopes ND can knock off Clemson again THIS year ... except most Tarheel fans who always feel robbed. Merry Christmas!

Eric Hansen: Doug, a quick thanks for all those nice compliments. To your question, I think Notre Dame has to blitz Lawrence, but you have to mix things up with him. I'd say early in the second quarter is when I'd start to mix in those pressures.

Kevin from Calgary: Hey, Eric! Gonna miss the chat transcripts (almost) as much as the games once the season is over. There’s been a lot of talk that if ND wins Saturday, especially in a close one which is probably inevitable, that Clemson remains in the top four. My question is, how then does the committee not elevate the Irish to No. 1 (two victories over a top four team another against a top 15 and undefeated) and not make Clemson the No.4 seed, setting up the unenviable, even from the committee’s standpoint, of a inside-conference playoff rematch? And I know it’s not supposed to matter, but do you think Notre Dame should also be given credit, even with a loss Saturday, with the fact they’ve actually defeated three of the current top 15 teams in 2020?

Eric Hansen: Kevin, thanks. We'll do some of these chats in the offseason, though not weekly. Then we'll go back to weekly when spring practice comes around (which may be later than normal). To your question, Alabama has squashed two top 10 teams and probably will do the same to a third on Saturday. For me, they are the No. 1 team unless they lose. I look at the total résumé, not just best wins.

Alex from Jackson, Mo.: Merry Christmas, Eric! Hope your holiday is great! Who is your pick to click on Saturday? Hopefully, we will put a lot on the board.

Eric Hansen: Happy holidays to you. If you're going to beat Clemson, there better be a lot of picks to click. With that said, let me give you a couple of wild cards. Offensively, I could see Tommy Tremble doing something surprising, maybe Braden Lenzy. On defense, I think Kyle Hamilton is going to have a monster game, but the surprise will come from ND's interior defensive linemen.

Bruce from Dayton Ohio: Hi Eric. Really enjoy these chats, thanks for keeping us updated.

Eric Hansen: Thanks, I have to say I enjoy them quite a bit too.

Bruce from Dayton Ohio: What are your thoughts on Brian Kelly keeping the same base 4-2-5 defense? Would be open to another scheme? I would think with the success of the last couple of years and with players recruited specifically for this defense that no matter who the defensive coordinator is, it would be a must to stay with the current scheme. Also I feel Clark Lea's ability to make in-game adjustments was amazing and will be difficult for most DCs to replicate. Even though Lea was a first-time DC and had the success he did, is it going to be too much for someone else to fill the role without having experience? Could you please give us your thoughts on a few potential DC candidates: Mike Elston, Marcus Freeman, and couple other names you're hearing. Thanks so much!!

Eric Hansen: Bruce, thank you. The scheme works really well not just in games, but as a player development model with — for example — some safeties migrating to rover over time. It's not a deal breaker to go in a little bit different direction, but I wouldn't want to go to a 3-4 at this point. (Kelly later in his signing day Zoom conference confirmed the scheme will stay in place). I could comment on some of the other candidates in time, but Elston and Freeman are at the top of my list and I'll leave it there for now.

Erik from Granger: Have Clemson’s prior ACC Championship Games been against repeat opponents from the regular season? If so, do you think that experience gives them (especially Dabo and their coordinators) an advantage over us/ours? I can’t recall ND playing the same team twice in a season.

Eric Hansen: Hi Erik. Clemson has played in seven ACC title games before this one, including the last five straight. In those last five there were no rematches. But in 2011, Clemson swept Virginia Tech, 23-3 and 38-10. In 2009, Clemson was swept by Georgia Tech, 30-27 and 39-34.

Guest: Jorge from the highlands of Western Panama: Eric, love your articles and live chats. Hope you and your family keep safe and have a very Merry Christmas. After the game with Syracuse, Kyle Hamilton said something which I had not thought of before. In his opinion, it is easier for ND to play in a conference than not to. His premise is that conference teams tend to offensively play a similar style, and it is easier to prepare and strategize against them, unlike in ND's normal football schedule where they have to prepare against very divergent teams: USC's west coast air attack, Navy's triple option, the Big Ten's predilection for the spread offense and hard-nose defense, and so on. It is also easier to plan to play teams that you see from one year to another, unlike ND which only plays USC, Stanford and Navy on a regular basis. Do you think that there is merit in Kyle's argument and that possibly ND would have greater possibilities at winning as a regular member of the ACC, with a less-difficult schedule?

Eric Hansen: Jorge, thank you for the kind words and good wishes. And same to you and your family. I do think there's merit to what he's saying. The problem is it also comes with a high price tag if you're going to play a conference schedule only. Dan Wetzel mentioned this on our Pod of Gold podcast, and I wholeheartedly agree. Notre Dame wants to and NEEDS to recruit nationally. If you play in the ACC, you're not in California anymore playing. Are you going to get players like Ian Book, Isaiah Foskey, Jack Lamb, Ramon Henderson, Aaron Banks, Tyler Buchner, Isaiah Rutherford, TaRiq Bracy, Javon McKinley, etc., if Notre Dame is a cold-weather team in a regional conference? The one commitment I would make is not playing Navy every season. Maybe once every three years.

Eric Hansen: I wish I had more time, but that's got to do it for today. By the way, Kia Kahanu did sign his letter-of-intent. Logan Diggs and Audric Estime could eventually do the same before the early signing period ends on Friday. Thanks for all the great questions. We'll be back to do this all over again next week.

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