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Coach Kelly is on the move

Jan 20, 2010, 7:30 AM EDT

Some people questioned Brian Kelly’s commitment to recruiting in his first days as the new head coach at Notre Dame. These next few weeks should quell any concerns.

Kelly will log more miles than Ryan Bingham (an Up in the Air reference, anyone?) these next two weeks as he and his coaching staff work to secure the signature of the players currently committed to the Irish while also looking to tack on a few more players at positions of need.

Sunday saw Kelly in the home of blue-chip defensive end recruit Ego Ferguson. Kelly brought with him defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, linebackers coach Kerry Cooks, and d-line coach Mike Elston with him, emphasizing the fact that Ferguson was a top priority for the new Irish coaching staff.

“Coach Kelly said the reason he brought the entire staff is because J.R. is such a dynamic player,” Ego Ferguson Sr. told IrishSportsDaily.com. “Nobody brought the entire staff to see us first of all. You could see if this was from a local standpoint like a Maryland or Virginia, but to bring the entire staff from Notre Dame is very impressive. Secondly, just the expectations of him, that was quite impressive also.”

Kelly utilizing multiple members of his coaching staff was an effective tool for Charlie Weis and company, and Kelly’s attention to detail and ability to connect with a recruit that had become especially close to the former regime should be comforting for fans that were worried about the new staff.

Monday evening saw Kelly slide up the East coast to Hazelton, New Jersey, visiting with wide receiver Bennett Jackson and his mother. Kelly and offensive coordinator Charley Molnar followed up the work of Bob Diaco, who kept Jackson from feeling the need to take an official visit to Pittsburgh.

“When Coach Diaco came in he pretty much cleared everything up with me so I just canceled it,” Jackson told IrishIllustrated.com about the potential visit.

Kelly and offensive coordinator Charley Molnar finished the deal Monday evening, and before they left New Jersey they had a relieved wide receiver confident in his decision to join the Irish.

Yesterday, Kelly found himself in Florida, courting five-star linebacker Christian Jones as well as Irish commit Gio Bernard, according to various reports on the net. The fact that Kelly could get in the door with Jones, who has offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami, USC, and just about every other high-profile team you could think of, means Kelly isn’t afraid to go to battle with the other giants of college football when chasing down a player. And while Kelly’s visit with Bernard didn’t stop him from considering offers from North Carolina and Oregon State, where his older brother played, all reports suggest that Kelly’s message was well-received by both recruits.

Today, Kelly will find himself across the country, looking to convince safety Dietrich Riley to join him in South Bend. He’ll spend the night in Los Angeles, and then visit top-shelf athlete Anthony Barr, and try to convince Barr to follow his father’s footsteps to Notre Dame.

If we’ve learned anything this week, its that Kelly and his staff have an ambitious plan to keep this recruiting class together and continue building it as well. Whether it was Bob Diaco and Kerry Cooks ability to keep Prince Shembo in the fold, or Kelly and the staff convincing Manti Te’o and Robby Toma’s former teammate Jeremy Ioane to schedule an official visit, the new staff won’t stop recruiting until all the Signing Day faxes are in.

T minus 14 days and counting… 

  1. ugetwutuask4 - Jan 20, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    Hey Keith I’ve been keeping up with Coach K’s “flight itinerary” for the past couple of weeks or since he completed the coaching hires and it sounds like he’s logged a bunch of “frequent-flyer miles” which I beleive ultimately has to be a good thing. He’s runnin’ on full throttle, I just hope he doesn’t get “jet lagged” by the time gameday comes around!

  2. A Quick Remark - Jan 20, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    SSSSOOOOOOOO EXCCITTTEDDD!!!!

  3. ND4EVER - Jan 20, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    Hey Keith! Is there any word on where ND stands with Blake Lueders since his trip to Stanford? Is he still ours to lose?

  4. Ian - Jan 20, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    Keith,
    I thought I read somewhere that Kelly was going to visit
    Seantrell Hendeson on Monday. Did that not happen ?.

  5. Ian - Jan 20, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    Also wondering about Seantrell. Kelly was supposed to visit him on Monday. Wonder why all is quiet

  6. ugetwutuask4 - Jan 20, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    Coach K did meet with Seantrel and his parents on Monday along with coaches Warriner, Alford, and Denbrock and they brought with them a #77 ND home jersey.

  7. ugetwutuask4 - Jan 20, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Seantrell and his parent’s were all impressed and right now it’s between ND and The Ohio State University.

  8. ziggy - Jan 20, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    Sounds like Coach K is the real deal so far. Very excited about the direction of the program. I know it is early but it is nice to have a reason to feel good these days.

  9. ted - Jan 20, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    Coach K is busting his butt to gather in some of the top recruits in the country. I am optimistic the Irish will see results from that kind of effort and enthusiasm on NSD.

  10. 1955DOMER - Jan 20, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    ND nation take notice. Coach K is about to construct a WINNER. I have been waiting for this for thirteen long years. Like LOU SAID FAITH AND THE BELIEF IN EACH OTHER.GO IRISH.

  11. Keith Arnold - Jan 20, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    BK did meet with Seantrel. Working on an update on that now, just waiting to hear back from some people that are close to the Cretin program before I get something up.

  12. sharkey - Jan 20, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    Way to go Coach K! Go get ‘em!

  13. Chuckit - Jan 20, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    Hi,
    it does not sound right “trying to convince” anyone, as stated above. Recruiting is not a process for “convincing”. It is a process for informing, motivating, relating, and visualising possibilities with the candidate’s talent. “Convincing” is probably the worst thing ever, because it implies some sort of manipulation of the candidate’s free will.

  14. Ricky Leahey - Jan 20, 2010 at 10:15 PM

    robertg, your analysis?

  15. DocHR - Jan 20, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    Ricky, Ricky, Ricky. This blog was going so well. I was enjoying the great article by Keith, and reading comments from joyous ND fans. Then: post #14, and the mention of a dark force so terrible on the blogging scene, that it has kept faithful readers of this blog away for weeks.
    Why, Ricky, why? Why did you invite the dark force into the “sphere of hope”? Don’t you realize that just a few moments with no comments from SOT or robertg is like coming home to a mother’s warm hug, a glass of cold milk and cookies, and watching the Irish on TV playing well against a formidable foe? Tread lightly my friend, and resist the temptation to invite the dark side into the “sphere of hope”, for their will be much darkness once the season starts.

  16. Jan - Jan 20, 2010 at 11:52 PM

    God willing the darkness will will wait until the season starts and then overcome by results on the field……

  17. Jake - Jan 21, 2010 at 7:17 AM

    DocHR:
    Ah but we have heard from RobertG. Fortunately it was on a thread that was weaved into archives yesterday. (Kelly talks Irish and Entitlement) This one was a thing to behold. I’ve never seen anything like it, heck I’ve never heard about anything like it. It was the Holy Grail of RobertG’s efforts coming in at 100 (No Kidding) numbered points.That was followed by a P.S. of nine bullets.
    We can’t afford to get to comfortable.The dark side is never far away.

  18. ugetwutuask4 - Jan 21, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    I think RobertG has an alias nowadays of Regular Guy. Rumor has it he’s losing in the battle to bring back coach Weis and getting rid of Coach K.

  19. Jake - Jan 21, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    Respect to you man but RobertG owns it. Nobody, and I mean nobody posts a hundred numbered point essay and then follows it up with a deft nine like Robertg. Regular Guy is a lightweight (much to your credit Regular Guy) his posts are readable and even if you don’t agree he makes sense.
    RobertG is in a class and universe of his own.

  20. ugetwutuask4 - Jan 21, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Jake your right at least I don’t mind reading Regular Guy although sometimes the Ir-Regular statements come out of him. But I agree with him to a certain extent I don’t want ND to sacrifice or change too much of what makes it UNIQUELY different from all other campuses in the U.s.
    WE ARE ND!!!

  21. ugetwutuask4 - Jan 21, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    Well for anyone who hoped that the Brooks legacy would continue on in the form of Anthony Barr, the recruiting train has made it’s final pit stop on the campus of U.C.L. of A. I thought if anyone wanted to bring a championship back to South Bend it would have been Barr, but I wish him the best anyway!

  22. robertg - Jan 22, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    1.yes, kelly and his staff have hit the recruiting trail with everything that they have to offer recruits and their families and high school coaches.
    2. so far, kelly and his staff have struck out in impressing all but one current notre dame verbal, who switched from cincinnati to notre dame.
    3.while that notre dame verbal appears to be a fine intelligent young man and we wish him the best at notre dame.
    4. however, neither he, nor any of the few new verbals that kelly and his staff have attracted to notre dame have been blessed with the athletic abilities to be the keys to any dramatic improvements in notre dame football.
    5. many of those 2010 notre dame verbals verbals who committed to charlie and his staff have, so far, stuck with notre dame, not because and of them or their families or high school coaches are impressed by kelly and his staff, but because they are impressed by notre dame the school and the notre dame student body and about notre dame’s core values, things which charlie and his staff know and love, but about which kelly and his staff know bupkis and really do not care about.
    6. with a father, tony brooks, and an uncle reggie brooks, who were both outstanding student athletes who also played football at notre dame, and a mother who was enthusiatically pro notre dame before purcell and swarbrick and jenkins stabbed charlie and his staff in the back, the loss of such a fine program changing student athlete like anthony barr to ucla is just another nail in the economic and career coffins of purcell, swarbrick, jenkins, and kelly and his staff.
    7. when charlie took on the task of bring back notre dame football at the very end of the 2005 recruiting season while he was leading the new england patriots offense to another superbowl championship, charlie came to notre dame with a fine long term plan for doing that rebuilding with honesty and integrity, without compromising notre dame’s highacademic and character standards, and with true love and understanding of notre dame’s core values.
    8. because of charlie’s obligations to the patriots in the superbowl, charlie and his staff were not able to play any role at all in notre dame’s 2005 recruiting class.
    9.charlie and his staff and notre dame’s very thin green line of student athletes accomplished miracles on the football fields and in the classrooms and off the field as fine young men who were, and still are, like charlie and his staff, and unlike purcell, swarbrick,jenkins, and kelly and his staff.
    10. when charlie and his staff hit the recruiting trails for the 2006 and 2007 recruiting cycles, they were stunned to find that the recruiting trails had been poisoned against them and against notre dame, not only by notre dame’s enemies, but by notre dame’s own administration.
    11. at a time when tyrone realized that he could not bring notre dame’s recruiting network back since tyrone simply did not understand the notre dame community and when tyrone already had a head coaching offer from washington on his desk and was perfectly willing to resign, if he had been given that opportunity, as notre dame former ad kevin white and notre dame’s former president strongly desired, 2 individuals insisted that tyrone be fired in the most demeaning manner possible.
    12. those 2 individuals were purcell and jenkins, the same power mad jerks who recently stabbed charlie and his staff and notre dame in the back again- this time with the full cooperation of purcell’s flunky ad swarbrick.
    13.the results of the tyrone atrocity on the recruiting trail were devastating for notre dame, as anyone who knows anything about the recruiting process could figure out easily.
    14. recruitsand their families and high school coaches all over the us simply did not trust the notre dame administration and for very good reasons.
    15. while they were immensely impressed by charlie and his staff and by the university of notre dame, they did not believe that the notre dame administration would give charlie and his staff sufficient time to rebuild notre dame’s recruiting program and football program.
    16. charlie and his staff made astounding progress on the recruiting trails in the 2006 and 2007 recruiting cycles.
    17. when the usual notre dame haters and certain elements within the notre dame administration, along with the greedy jerks who run those so called notre dame fan sites, including eric hansen and his con artist colleagues at the south bend tribune, started their usual vicious attacks against charlie and his staff and their families and notre dame’s student athletes( since these con artists have made millions with this same routine for many years from naive notre dame fans whom they con into paying membership fees for access to their websites for so-called inside information on notre dame football and basketball), notre dame’s former ad kevin white gave press conferences to rebut all of those vicious attacks by stating, without any reservations, that charlie and his staff would be at notre dame for the long haul.
    18. when brady quinn and his class graduated, charlie and his staff were left with relatively empty recruiting classes from the 2004 and 2005 recruiting cycles and some very talented, but very inexperienced, notre dame recruits from the 2006 and 2007 recruiting cycles, thereby making the very ugly 2006 season inevitable, not that charlie and his staff or notre dame’s student athletes every even thought of throwing in the towel at any point.
    19. despite the dismal 2006/7onthe field records,charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes, who always play a key role in recruiting, brought into notre dame the no 1 recruiting class in the us during the 2008 recruiting cycle.
    20. holding the members of that recruiting class together in the face of all of the vicious media attacks was something that charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes could never have done without the full support that they got from notre dame’s former ad, kevin white.
    21.however, after the 2007 season, facing zero support from purcell and jenkins and finding their plans to stab charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes in the backs completely inconsistent with notre dame’s core values and the long term interests of notre dame football and the university of notre dame, kevin white quit in disgust and moved on to become the ad at duke.
    22. white’s departure left the door open for purcell and jenkins to bring in swarbrick as notre dame’s new ad, a flunkywhom they knew would cooperate fully with the plans.
    23.in the 2009 recruiting cycle, charlie and his staff had the full faith and trust of recruits and their families and high school coaches all over the us and had another no 1 recruiting class lined up for notre dame, only to be sabotaged by swarbrick, purcell and jenkins who, unlike kevin white,did not step up to support charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes against the vicious media attacks.
    24. instead, they left charlie and his staff and their families hanging out to dry and many fine student athletes who would otherwise have chosen notre dame, selected other schools instead for understandable reasons.
    25. the recruits and their families and high school coaches had no idea until after the last regular season game that charlie and his staff would be back and, even when swarbrick finally made that announcent, it was just for one year.
    26. in the meantime, the proprietors of crooked college football and sports enterprises had become so terrified that charlie and his staff and notre dame football would actually succeed with honesty and integrity and without compromising notre dame high academic and character standards that they would be put out of business that they took the dishonest officiating industry to new levels and took that con operation nationwide through the big 10’s commissioner jim delany and former official in charge of big 10 conference football officiating hiring, firing, and quality control.
    27. in addition to the sworn declarations from conference game and tech review officials which we have and will continue to gather all over the us, the key online source about the nationwide dishonest officiating industry can be found at the website of college football officiating llc, an operation jointly owned and operated by the ncaa and the power conference in which notre dame plays no role at all.
    28. faced with the terrorizing and very real possibility that charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes would actually finish the 2009 season undefeated, which they actually did when the crooked officiating is taken out of the equation, the proprietors of crooked college football enterprises really pulled out all of the stops to turn all but 2 of notre dame’s wins(nevada and washington state) into phony paper losses to eliminate the real threat to their multimillion dollar con operations.
    29. the injuries inflicted upon jimmy clausen by certain michigan state players were inflicted deliberately in knowing violation of the rules with full knowledge that the officials would not even call any penalties.
    30. the same thing happened to kyle rudolf during the navy game and to michael floyd and others during other games.
    31. throughout all of this adversity, charlie and his staff and notre dame’s 2009 football team fought with guts and courage that are rarely seen in any area of human endeavor and they made us immensely proud, despite the phony paper win/loss 2009 record.
    32. we are doing what we have said we woould do. we are cleaning the con artists out of college football with pete carroll already having been forced to flee to the nfl, something which never would have happened but for certain things that we did in the courts which made it impossible for certain con artists at the ncaa to continue to operate their payoffs for no punishment for breaking the rules policies.
    33. we will finish the entire project and replace the current corrupt officiating, rules enforcement, bcs, and rankings systems with trasparent and honest systems so that the world of coolege football will be safe for charlie and his staff and for notre dame before the 2011 season begins.
    34. if no one else from the notre dame community kicks purcell and swarbrick and jenkins and kelly and his staff and the vicious media con artists out of notre dame forever and forces notre dame to adopt a fully transparent and honest system of institutional governance which is fuly accountable to the members of the notre dame community, we will do that also, although we find it difficult to understand why notre dame alums are not already taking those steps in the civil courts.
    35. in addition to the other reasons which we have stated in our posts, i have some very personal reasons for doing what i am doing which have to do with my own children, the eldest of whom is my 14 year old son who is now in a jesuit high school( they take girls also now).
    36. like my other children, my 14 year old son, has always excelled in academics and in sports.
    37. my children know and love notre dame because they saw what made notre dame so special by watching charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes at und.com and on television and on the internet.
    38. they were all set to break with our family traditions and select notre dame, instead of a jesuit college like fordham.
    39. when they saw notre dame’s administration stab charlie and his staff and their families and notre dame’s student athletes in the back, they all cried and became extremely angry and announcedthat they would never choose notre dame for college until the jerks who stabbed charlie and his staff and their families and notre dame’s student athletes in the back are driven out of notre dame forever and until charlie and his staff are back.
    40. so, notre dame football will experience the horrors of purcell and swarbrick and jenkins and kelly and his staff for one season unless some notre dame alums move faster than we do and the memories of that disasterous season will be forever remembered, along with those responsible for these atrocities.
    41. we know that notre dame and notre dame football will be back and prosper. however, we do wonder why notre dame alums did not see what we have seen and oust purcell and swarbrick and jenkins before charlie and his staff and their families and notre dame’s student athletes were stabbed in the backs.
    GO IRISH!!!

  23. JRC - Jan 22, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    Wow, there’s a whole lotta stabbing going on. Six “in the back” jobs according to your count,at least this time around.
    Robertg, (may I call you RG?) you’ve again put a mind dulling trieste on this blog and simply regurgitated all the past posts. RG, they all say the same thing. It’s like your brain is in freeze lock and this theme just keeps repeating itself over and over. The only thing different is you’ve jitterbugged your way out of the statement that Kelly “will never coach a game at ND.” Now you’ve given them a reprieve of a year while you root out the other corrupt officials, bring down the economic thunder etc. on other scoundrel schools. The only thing this will do is force us to endure another year of the same rants.
    The thing you have never said or made clear is why? Why is everyone in God’s world involved in this massive conspiracy? Whats the point and what’s the ultimate payoff? Surely you can’t mean to imply that all of this is simply to get rid of Weis. They removed him for lack of performance, right or wrong, it’s their prerogative. He left a rich man and is probably quite happy, at least as happy as one can be at K.C.
    Your fighting a holy war (on paper) that no one believes for a minute. All this nonsense of court actions, dispositions and so on is just hyperbole that wastes every one’s time just scrolling past it let alone trying to read it.
    Go to TT’s blog and take on Leaches case I’m sure they would welcome you. You could simply replace Jenkins and the gang for Craig James, ND for TT, and run with what you got.

  24. Jake - Jan 22, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Good article at SI.com on Kelly’s recruiting philosophy.

  25. DocHR - Jan 22, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    Thanks, Jake!
    Keith, good article!

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