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Notre Dame is a week away from the Blue-Gold Game. On Saturday, the Irish held the 13th of their 15 spring practices, and head coach Brian Kelly spoke with reporters afterward via Zoom.

Here are some of the topics he addressed.

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On the Passing of Lou Somogyi

“Certainly, I would be remiss not to pass on my deepest sympathies to Lou Somogyi’s family. I think Tommy Rees did a great job of echoing those sentiments. He was a great man. All just colleagues in the profession, and certainly all those that he touched, are deeply saddened by the unexpected loss. We’re gonna miss him. This press conference is certainly a little bit different without the questions and the discourse.”

“We miss you, Lou. You’re in our thoughts.”

On the Development of Notre Dame’s Younger Cornerbacks

“Cam [Hart] is making progress. A lot of this is a combination of technique and having much more of an aggressive mindset instead of a reactive defensive mindset. That’s coming together with Cam. He got the skills, he’s got length. He’s strong physically. He is one of our strongest, if not our strongest defensive back.

“I’m really pleased with his progress. What we’ll continue to build on is he’ll continue to get stronger, and we’ll continue to work on technique. And now it’s mindset: go get the ball, it’s yours. Because he is going to be in a plus matchup physically with a lot of guys that he goes against. We’re making great progress there.

“Ramon Henderson is coming on. Both these guys have elite traits, long, athletic. The ability to play the ball. Both of them were wide receivers. Both have excellent speed. We’re starting to see that growth from Ramon as well. When you line them up, those two look as good as anybody in the country.

“We’d like to see that continue to progress in a similar fashion with Ramon relative to his mindset. Be aggressive, go get the football and turn being a defensive back into being an offensive player.

“[Clarence] Lewis is still progressing and coming on. Then I like what [Philip] Riley and [Ryan] Barnes are doing. They’re growing as well. It’s Baptism by fire with those two young kids.”

On who is Injured and how They’re Progressing

“Run progression has started for Kyle Hamilton, so he’s running. He’s in our stretching. Kevin Austin has started his run progression and Paul Moala. All three of those guys are in their run progression.

“Drew White is in practice. What we do with him in the spring game, I haven’t decided yet. We’ll probably protect him. If he wants to play, we’ll probably have to rock scissor paper that one. But he’s back in a practice setting. So those three guys are in run progression. Certainly, you know the guys that are out. [Brendon] Clark is out, obviously.

“On the D-line, [Will] Schweitzer had surgery yesterday, very successful. Lacey is still out, but making great progress. He was out on the field. He was doing 350s today, full conditioning. Let’s see who else do we have. [Gabrielle] Rubio had a hyperextended elbow. We’re not sure what his status is going to be for the spring game, but he’s had a really good spring.

“Let’s see who else we have here. Going down the list. I think that covers pretty much the guys that unless I’ve missed somebody. But that’s pretty much the major list. Of course, [Josh] Lugg is back. He practiced today. Of course, [Jarrett] Patterson is out. I think I’ve done a pretty good job.”

On the Development of OL Quinn Carroll

“He’s gotten really strong physically. The area that he’s got to continue to develop is picking up movement has been one where he’s struggled at times. We’ve moved him around, too, to be fair with him. But really like his progress in the weight room. He’s gotten really strong. Now, the next level is going out there consistently when we got movement, and we’ve got linebackers moving, is being able to pick up a lot of that movement.

“So continue to work on his agility and changing direction. Those are the areas that he’s got to focus on.’

On Replacing the Leaders From Last Year’s Team

“It’s a work in progress right now. We have 10 SWAT teams. With those 10 SWAT teams, they’re given the opportunity to lead on a day-to-day basis. With those 10 SWAT teams, we have 13 individual leaders amongst the group, because three of the teams have dual-leaders.

“For example, team four is Kyren Williams and Jack Coan. Team eight is Bo Bauer and Shayne Simon. Team 10 is Jonathan Doerer and Jay Bramlett. So you’ve got some extra leaders: Hamilton, Patterson, Avery Davis, Kurt Hinish, Drew White, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa and Josh Lugg. There’s a lot of guys that are veterans in our program that have been asked to be SWAT leaders.

“Those are our squad leaders that I’ve just laid out to you. They’ve been given the opportunity over the last few months to lead, and we’ll take stock on that. They’ll have this summer to lead as well, and then we’ll make some decisions on who we believe will continue that and we’re the ‘C’ on their jersey.”


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