Recently in Football Category

Kelly Chats With ESPN & CBS On Signing Day

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

"It's a 40-year decision."

Signing Day: By The Numbers

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

With 13 national letters of intent signed today, as well as three early enrollees and one USC transfer arriving in South Bend last month, the Notre Dame football team has added 17 student-athletes for the 2012 season.

These include: DB Nick Baratti, WR Chris Brown, LS Scott Daly, DL Sheldon Day, WR Justin Ferguson, OL Mark Harrell, DL Jarron Jones, QB Gunner Kiel, RB Will Mahone, LB Romeo Okwara, DB C.J. Prosise, RB KeiVarae Russell, DB Tee Shepard, DB Elijah Shumate, OL Ronnie Stanley, DB John Turner and transfer RB Amir Carlisle.

In total, there are eight defensive players (five defensive backs, two defensive linemen and one linebacker), eight offensive players (three running backs, two wide receivers, two offensive linemen and one quarterback) and one specialist (long snapper).

Looking at the bios from's Signing Day Central, here's a "by the numbers" look at the Class of 2012 (including Carlisle). Keep in mind that many of these bios focus on a student-athlete's junior and senior seasons, and may not include every statistic from their high school careers.

Receptions: 280
Receiving Yards: 4,662
Receiving TDs: 68
Rushing Yards: 13,356
Rushing TDs: 180
Passing Yards: 9,320
Passing TDs: 67
Kick Return TDs: 14
Punt Return TDs: 1
Defensive Interceptions: 43
INT TDs: 5
Forced Fumbles: 9
Fumble Recoveries: 10
Fumble TDs: 4
Tackles: 732
Tackles for Loss: 58
Sacks: 52
QB Pressures: 18
Pass Breakups: 32
Blocked FGs: 4
Basketball players: 4
Track athletes: 5
Tae Kwon Do Black Belts: 1

Most of these future Notre Dame student-athletes will arrive on campus in June, but you can get your first glimpse of Kiel, Day, Shepard and Carlisle on April 21 in the team's annual Blue-Gold Game.

There are only 79 days until the spring game, and 212 until the real fun begins in Dublin, Ireland. Get excited...

- Josh Flynt ('11)

It's Like Christmas, But for Fax Machines

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Wake up, wake up, wake up ... it's the first of the month.

Biggest day of the year for fax machines. We're ready to roll. Join us here to get your Notre Dame Football Signing Day fix. You'll thank us.

Student. Athlete. Irish.

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

The New Lou (Part II)

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
6_160670.jpg - (Editor's note) When the Brian Kelly era began two years ago, it got Ted Mandell ('86), Notre Dame professor of Film, Television and Theatre, thinking. The more he thought about Notre Dame's 29th head football coach, the more he thought he saw the second coming of Lou Holtz. Now, last week's announcement that Kelly had been offered and had accepted a two-year extension of his contract through the 2016 season has triggered another Mandell epiphany.

I saw that BK got a two year extension, and I thought, Hmmm, after two seasons is he still the New Lou?

Well, let's see ... Brian Kelly has the exact same record after 26 games as Lou Holtz (16-10).

At the conclusion of Holtz's second season (1987), the greatest receiver in ND history (Tim Brown) finished his ND career on the sideline during the fourth quarter of a bowl game loss against a top defensive foe.

At the conclusion of Kelly's second season (2011), the greatest receiver in ND history (Michael Floyd) finished his ND career on the sideline during the fourth quarter of a bowl game loss against a top defensive foe.

Timothy Brown and Michael Floyd both have exactly 12 letters in their names.

Louis Holtz and Brian Kelly both have exactly 10 letters in their names.

After two years, Holtz replaced his defensive coordinator with a position coach on staff and hired a new offensive line coach.

After two years, Kelly replaced his offensive coordinator with a position coach on staff and hired a new offensive line coach.

Notre Dame finished the 1987 season 8-4.

Notre Dame finished the 2011 regular season 8-4.

In 1987, Notre Dame beat #17 Michigan State 31-8, highlighted by two kick returns for touchdowns by Tim Brown, future Oakland Raider.

In 2011, Notre Dame beat #15 Michigan State 31-13, highlighted by a kick return for a touchdown by George Atkinson III, son of a former Oakland Raider.

In 1987, Notre Dame beat Navy 56-13.

In 2011, Notre Dame beat Navy 56-14.

In 1986 and 1987, Notre Dame had 10 losses by a total of 90 points.

In 2010 and 2011, Notre Dame had 10 losses by a total of 88 points.

In 1987, Bon Jovi's "Livin on a Prayer" spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Charts.

In 2011, Jon Bon Jovi spent two minutes on the field at Notre Dame Stadium as the ND Band played "Livin on a Prayer."

The live recording of Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" was first released in 1987.

The studio recording of Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" was first played live inside Notre Dame Stadium in 2011.

And just in case you're wondering for season three ...

In 1988, Notre Dame defeated four teams ranked in the Coaches' Poll Top 10.

In 2012, Notre Dame plays four teams ranked in's preseason Top 11.

Meet the New Lou ... same as the Old Lou.

Q&A With Tim Brown

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Honors Celebration_004.JPG - Tim Brown, the 1987 Heisman Trophy winner, set two single-game, nine single-season and eight career records during his time at Notre Dame and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. The nine-time Pro Bowl selection was drafted sixth overall in the 1988 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles (Oakland) Raiders. Brown serves as the national chairman and spokesperson for Athletes and Entertainers for Kids and 9-1-1 For Kids. Each year, Brown hosts the Tim Brown Charity Golf Classic to benefit 9-1-1 For Kids, and the Mentor Mini Camp at the Raiders' headquarters for fatherless boys.

The Silver Anniversary Award honors former student-athletes and distinguished individuals are recognized on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletics careers. Brown and fellow recipients Doris Burke, Kevin Johnson, Sean Payton, Amy Perko and David Robinson were honored Jan. 13, 2012, during the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis.

Q: What would you say was your top academic achievement at Notre Dame?

Brown: ...The one thing I love about Notre Dame is the fact that we didn't stay in the athletic dorms, we lived with the other students. I have to tell you I learned more from the students there.

One of my best friends ended up being a kid from China, Tony Lee. We are still best of friends today. I don't think I would have gotten that anywhere else...There was only one other athlete in the whole dorm that I was living in so I think from that standpoint, yes, we talk about the education and what a great academic school, but for me what I took away from it was all the different relationships from people all over the world literally. I'm just so thankful that I had that experience.

Q: What was life like on campus for you as a student-athlete?

Brown: ...We were literally student-athletes there. We were required to sit in the front rows of classes. There was never a situation where it was okay for us not to go to class or it was okay if we did [bad] on tests or anything of that nature. Your freshman year you were required to get tutoring; after that it's if you need it. After my freshman year I didn't need any more tutoring by the time we finished practicing.

We had no special anything there besides a training table and they had to feed us, right? Everyone was already done with dinner by the time we finished practicing. Besides that we really had nothing on campus that set us aside and the great thing about that is you don't walk out of there thinking somebody owes you something, or looking for somebody to give you something. Everything that you earn in life, you are going to earn in life. That's what they teach you there. When something goes wrong, you can't go pointing fingers at other people. It's all about you.

Q: While you were at Notre Dame how you did find a balance between sports, your studies and community involvement?

Brown: It's just a part of the atmosphere; it's how it is...When I won the Heisman I can remember Jim Nantz interviewing me and he asked some questions. He said, "A lot of people think that because you went to the University of Notre Dame, it helped you get to this position of possibly winning the Heisman Trophy." [They were interviewing the candidates before.] I said to him, "Jim, I didn't go to the University of Notre Dame to win the Heisman Trophy. I went there to get a great education; if it helps me win the Heisman Trophy than that is just icing on top of the cake for me."

Q: What expectations does Notre Dame hold for student-athletes?

Brown: If you are student-athlete at the University of Notre Dame, you are expected to do great things. Not good things, you are expected to do great things. You go to that university because you have all these contacts and all these things that are accessible to you and it's up to you to utilize them in the proper way. The great thing about what the university does, it doesn't put you in a position where you are going to walk away from that place used to people handing you stuff...

Q: Why is giving back important to you?

Brown: You're in a position for a reason...God put you in a position for a reason and you have to give back. I was on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 1996 for athletes and celebrities who had given back. Not for how many touchdowns I've caught, not for the Heisman Trophy, but for celebrities who are doing philanthropic work. I told her, and it's what I say all the time, "At the end of the day I sleep a lot better at night because I know I tried to change somebody's life in a very positive way."

Q: How did you get involved with Athletes and Entertainers for Kids?

Brown: ...I went to a miniature golf tournament for at-risk kids in Southern California and that was it. That was 1992. I took over the next year in '93. We did a couple of miniature golf tournaments and then for the last 18 years we've done [we still count the miniature golf tournaments], but we've done a full golf tournament for 18 years. We expanded from that to 9-1-1 Kids, teaching kids proper use of 911. Then we expanded from that to the Tim Brown Mentor Mini Camp and that's really my baby. The Mentor Mini Camp. That's the one event that I have opportunity to [I have 150 to 175 fatherless boys out there] and I get a chance to really put my hands on them, rub 'em on the head, shoot 'em a couple of elbows and let them know somebody cares for them. It's only one day. I understand that, but we try and hook them up with mentor dads in hopes that those mentor dads will keep in touch with these kids. That's a program that I can't wait for every year because that's the one that, like I said, I really, really feel good about.

Folllowing Flynt - It's Official

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

In the crazy world of college football recruiting, it's impossible to trust what you hear, read or see, until the first Wednesday in February.

Only then, do "verbal commitments" actually carry any weight, as players sign their name on the dotted line and letters start pouring into the football office.

Such is the case for most recruits, except the small percentage who decide to enroll early.

As was announced earlier today, Notre Dame has added four players to its roster for the spring semester. For those that follow recruiting, the arrival of two of these student-athletes on campus might come as little surprise. Defensive lineman Sheldon Day and defensive back Tee Shepard expressed their plans to come to Notre Dame several months ago (click their names for their YouTube high school highlight videos).

Day, who is from Indianapolis, was a second-team selection on the High School All-America team and runner-up for 2011 Indiana Mr. Football award (more on that award later).

Shepard, a Fresno, Calif. native, had to sit out his senior season after transferring high schools, but finished with 10 interceptions in his career and was rated third-best cornerback in his class by, as well as the number-36 player nationally by MaxPreps and Tom Lemming.

On Jan. 7, the eventful day in which the Notre Dame men's and women's basketball teams, as well as the hockey team, knocked off top-10 opponents, Irish football fans also learned some big news. Running back Amir Carlisle, a freshman at USC, announced he would be trading Los Angeles for South Bend, enrolling for the spring semester along with Shepard and Day.

But the final addition to Notre Dame's roster is where the story truly gets interesting. Quarterback Gunner Kiel, a Columbus, Ind. native, had twice previously announced his college decision. First, last summer that he would join the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington, and more recently, that he would be heading south for Baton Rouge, La. and the LSU Tigers.

Over the past couple of days, rumors began swirling that Kiel was not on LSU's campus when the rest of Coach Les Miles' early enrollees arrived. In 2012's ever-changing landscape of news and journalism, it was on Twitter (obviously) where the story really took off, with several recruiting sites and college football message boards tweeting that Kiel was in fact having second thoughts about his decision to join the Tigers.

When I woke up today, I saw a report from The Observer, confirming that Kiel would be enrolling at Notre Dame this week. Not to second-guess the credibility of our student newspaper, but I was skeptical of the news. My doubt had nothing to do with the fact that I'm a former Scholastic guy (Notre Dame's student magazine), but rather the reality that the only thing more unpredictable than college football recruiting is Brett Favre's retirement status.

However, upon my arrival at work this morning, it was not long before I saw the Kiel family walking around the halls of the Gug and talking to members of the football staff. Shortly later, director of football media relations Brian Hardin issued a press release on, and the news was official. It was then that Twitter really started to take off, and only then when I could share the news with the friends and family who have been just as curious as I have over the past 36 hours.

Kiel, one of the nation's top-ranked quarterback recruits, beat out his future teammate (Day) for the 2011 Indiana Mr. Football award chosen by the Indiana Football Coaches Association. He was also named the Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year and he passed for 7,175 yards in his high school career.

Each of these four players brings a different skill set and unique character to the Fighting Irish and only time will tell how Shepard, Day, Carlisle and Kiel will fare during their time at Notre Dame. For better or worse, the pure craziness of Kiel's commitment to Notre Dame will make the 6-foot-4 quarterback an instant celebrity on campus, and more importantly, it adds competition to what should already be a heated quarterback race during spring practice and training camp.

- Josh Flynt ('11)


| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Former Notre Dame football player and 2012 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award Honoree Tim Brown shares how his experience as a student-athlete helped developed his passion for serving others.

The Silver Anniversary Awards recognize distinguished former student-athletes on the 25th anniversary of the end of their intercollegiate athletics eligibility.

Jerome Bettis Stars in New EPA Ad

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

If you checked out Irish UNDerground last month, you may have read about Jerome Bettis and his efforts on Capitol Hill. The Bus also recently teamed up with the EPA to talk about the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which will help limit pollution from power plants. Here's more on the former Irish running back's recent work.

Fuel Fix - The Bus is on the EPA bandwagon.

Jerome Bettis, the iconic Pittsburgh Steelers running back affectionately known as "The Bus," is starring in a new Environmental Protection Agency ad touting the need for new regulations to limit pollution from power plants, POLITICO reported.

Bettis, who suffers from asthma, has campaign for two new regulations - the MACT and Cross-State Air Pollution - that aim at cutting air pollution produced from power plants and ease health issues associated with the smog.

The EPA released its first-ever standards for mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants, capping a long debate with Republicans and utility companies over the new regulations.

The agency is still working with business, states and Republicans over regulations that would regulate cross-state air pollution. Texas and Gov. Rick Perry have vocally opposed both measures.

Bettis, who meet with EPA Chief Lisa Jackson last month, said the regulations are important to reduce air pollution and ease health concerns, including asthma, associated with the pollution.

- Dan X. McGraw

A Model That Works

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
The Responsibility Project

The Responsibility Project by Liberty Mutual recently featured a roundtable on the state of college sports and includes Troy Vincent, who says around the 4:10 mark, "Notre Dame has a model that works for student-athletes."

Vincent played college football at Wisconsin and is currently the vice president of the NFL Player Engagement Organization.

Recent Comments

  • notre dame gear: "Lime green 42... fashionably correct fuchsia 42... hut, hut.. HIKE!" read more
  • Zachary Barredo: Hi, what type of air playne it was there!? read more
  • celtic544: Who's next for the Irish? Slippery Rock? read more
  • WallsKatheryn21: One understands that life seems to be high priced, nevertheless we need money for different issues and not every person read more
  • Frank Lardy: Great Piece!! My wife and I were laughing out loud at this. read more
  • HensonCONSTANCE: That's cool that we can receive the loan and that opens up new possibilities. read more
  • GEOB: The only positive coming from this game is Coach Kelly's relization (I hope) that Hendricks is the present and future read more
  • tom matthews: Notre Dame's football team is fast becoming unwatchable. The current team has not improved since game one. Penalties and turnovers read more
  • game of thrones: People around me are all talking about game of thrones these days. I am so happy because I am a read more
  • brian hess: PATHETIC!! read more

Event Calendar

November 23
8:00 PM
Valparaiso, Ind. (Athletics-Recreation Center)

Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND
Live Stats
November 25
7:00 PM
Syracuse, N.Y.

Live Stats
November 26
6:30 PM
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

November 27
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

November 27
3:15 PM
Freeport, Bahamas (St. Georges High School)

Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND
November 27
1:00 PM
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Live Stats
November 27
7:35 PM
Notre Dame, Ind. (Compton Family Ice Arena)

November 28
4:30 PM
Stanford, Calif.

Game Week Central
November 28
Louisiana Tech or UCLA
Freeport, Bahamas (St. Georges High School)

Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND
November 28
7:35 PM
Notre Dame, Ind. (Compton Family Ice Arena)

November 29
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

November 29
2:00 PM
Maryland Round of 16
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)

St. Joseph Health System Medifast Delta Canon Visit South Bend Mishawaka