Dec 19, 2009, 6:00 PM EDT
For those worried that Brian Kelly is taking the Christmas holiday to get his family situated and assemble a coaching staff, Notre Dame’s new head coach was hard at work this weekend wooing a select group of recruits that visited campus.
According to Irish Sports Daily, Kelly entertained recruits Andrew Hendrix (QB), Bruce Gaston (DT), Blake Leuders (DE), Christian Lombard (OL), Daniel Smith (WR), and Alex Welch (TE). Hendrix was an especially important visitor, because the coaching change has him reconsidering his fit in Kelly’s offense.
Early reports sound promising, as Kelly and Hendrix spent a half-hour talking today, and Gaston, the only uncommitted player visiting, also reportedly had a good visit.
A few hours later, Kelly was introduced at halftime of the mens’ basketball game against UCLA by athletic director Jack Swarbrick and greeted a standing ovation with a few fist-rockets and an impassioned speech. (See it here, courtesy of ISD.)
“259 days, you know what that is. Get yourself ready,” Kelly said to a packed crowd before turning his attention to the student section. “You better use this holiday break to get in shape, because you’re going to be doing a lot of push-ups this fall.”
Keeping the crowd at a fevered pitch, Kelly delivered a straight-forward message.
“Our job is to graduate our players and win championships,” he continued. “I promise you this: We will play hard for four quarters. You will love the guys that we put on the field beacuse they’re going to give you everything. At the end of theday we’re going to win a lot of football games.”