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Friday night notes: Computer fail edition

Jan 22, 2010, 8:58 PM EDT

(To all the loyal readers of the blog, the postings this weekend might be a little light, as I turned on my laptop yesterday to hear everything boot up correctly, but the screen decided to stay black. NOT. GOOD. The fine people of Apple are working on it, but as of now I’m sans computer and sans all my Irish-centric bookmarks, robbing me of few tidbits I was hoping to dazzle you with. Until I get a computer back, the weekend updates might be a little lighter than usual. Apologies in advance, and don’t worry the laptop and scoop with be back and better than new.)

* While more than a few people are bemoaning a tough recruiting defeat, Brian Kelly and staff trudged on in California, visiting one of the other four key recruits we mentioned, safety Dietrich Riley. According to, Riley was visited by defensive coordinator Bob “Baby Blue” Diaco, outside linebackers coach Kerry Cooks, tight ends coach and West Coast recruiter Mike Denbrock, and head coach Brian Kelly. The coaches met with Riley, his family, and his coaches after one of Riley’s high school basketball games.

“It went well,” Riley told Irish Illustrated. “I was impressed. He showed us some information on the graduation rates, which is 96-percent and makes all the other universities look poor.”

More interesting than graduation rates was Kelly’s potential plan for Riley — which wasn’t at safety, but possibly on the offensive side of the ball.

“He wants me at running back or wide receiver, but will give me the opportunity to be on defense,” Riley said. “He wants the ball in my hands.”

Riley has UCLA still at number one, with three others — Notre Dame, USC, and LSU — all trailing right behind. I credit Kelly for trying to tweak his pitch, knowing full well that giving Riley a chance to score touchdowns could be something that he really wanted. While Rick Neuheisel may be the man to beat here, Kelly at least played every hand he could.

* Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples had a nice article on Kelly’s work on the recruiting trail, pointing out the difference in recruiting philosophy between Kelly and his predecessor Charlie Weis.

As he stood on the field at Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium last April, Brian Kelly
explained his recruiting philosophy. At Grand Valley State, Central
Michigan and Cincinnati, Kelly had to zero in on the players the big
boys didn’t want. At one point in the conversation, these words passed
his lips.

“I’m not comfortable with four-star guys,” Kelly said.

week, Kelly arrived at the American Football Coaches Association
convention wearing a tie festooned with a leprechaun pugilist. A pin
bearing the letters N and D gleamed proudly from Kelly’s lapel. The
conversation turned to his recruiting philosophy, prompting an obvious
question. Now that he’s the coach at Notre Dame, how does Kelly feel
about four-star (and five-star) recruits?

“I don’t really
know that my philosophy has changed relative to the process,” Kelly
said. “I can project because of my background. I think I’ll continue to
do that, so maybe I won’t be necessarily just about four- and five-star
guys. But as it relates to this year, right now, that’s who’s been
recruited. Those have been identified by the former staff, and I’m
really just trying to reel this one in.”


  1. ugetwutuask4 - Jan 22, 2010 at 10:18 PM

    Hey Keith I respect your knowledge and insight along with the analysis of other experts in the college football world and agree with your comments on Coach K. That being said I don’t think we need a bunch of 4 and 5 star recruits to win a Natn’l title but at the same time we won’t win a title with a bunch of 1,2,and 3 star recruits either. I think you need at least one 4 and 5 star recruit at each position and then it will be o.k. to sprinkle in a 1,2,and 3 star recruit here and there. But an entire class of 2 and 3 star recruits isn’t gonna cut it either, please correct me if I’m wrong.

  2. TLNDMA - Jan 22, 2010 at 11:14 PM

    Keith, the last part of your article should make us all realize how lucky we are to be able to concern ourselves with things like ND football. I hope eveyone will step up and do what they can to help the people in Haiti. That is ND.

  3. sharkey - Jan 22, 2010 at 11:57 PM

    I am one of those who is worried about BK’s recruiting ability at this level and his comments doesnt help my confidence at all. However, this early into the game I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and trust his experience.
    I’m all for developing “unheralded players” and realize that stars sometimes doesn’t mean anything, but a players ability can only be developed so far. A kid can only be developed as far as he is physically able to be. Top flight recruits like Te’o will always be developed into elite players. Without elite players, Kelly will never win a National Title or compete with elite teams like Florida and Alabama. Instead, he may make important bowls and lose as Cincy has done the last few years.
    I hope his philosophy will be ” if Meyer, Saben, Stoops, Mack Brown are after them, then so am I”.
    I agree with ugetwutask4. The whole team does’nt need to be top flight, but 5 or more on the team are a must.

  4. OJ=USC most famous alum - Jan 23, 2010 at 1:25 AM

    I completely agree with sharkey. For ND to not consider 9-3 a good year and eventually legitimately compete with the best programs in the country then we need to be able to lure 5 and 4 star talented players into ND. The best college programs have the best talent and those teams win national titles. I really believe a big time win against a top ranked USC team or a BCS bowl game win would do wonders for recruiting so I’m not putting heavy emphasis on this years recruiting class but BK better realize that he won’t last at ND if he expects to coach up a roster loaded with 2 and 3 star talent with a win one for the gipper speech every week.

  5. Jan - Jan 23, 2010 at 1:27 AM

    I agree with your perspective of 5 or more top flight or so called 4-5 star on the team (I guess that you mean per year), who wouldn’t want this? Do that consistently for 4 or 5 years and you achieve uget’s goal of each position with a top star…..
    As much as we love ND and appreciate the value & benefits, I have to take a few steps back and view this with a bit of devil advocate’s perspective. Considering the amount of changes and uncertainities with our football program since Lou’s departure, these student athletes and their families have to also take a deep breath and pause a bit as well. This is a key life decision and not just a game for any one of them.
    Obviously ND is not alone in this regard, and the number of recent changes in power house programs is proof positive that there are no guarantees about how the future will play out (esp wrt coaches) over their upcoming 3 to 5 years.
    Perhaps Coach Kelly is being quite prudent to pursue a blend of “x” star recruits with the amount of time available until signing day rather than put all efforts (“eggs”) in the 4-5 star basket. Maybe not a bad strategy until he and his staff have a track record at ND to discuss with recruits.
    Let’s not be EXPECTING a flood of all the topflight recruits, plus everything to click smoothly and on all cyclinders, resulting in a National Championship next year. Hoping, dreaming, rooting – I’m all with you. Let’s give the staff some time to reach the end goals and milestones along the way before we start worrying. I think the signs are quite positive so far.

  6. Jake - Jan 23, 2010 at 8:55 AM

    I agree with most of the posts regarding having those “game changers” on your squad. I mean where would Indy be without Peyton Manning?.
    Having said that, we must remember where Kelly came from, his success with developing hidden talent and the fact that attracting a top ten recruit to GVS or CM is simply not happening. Therefore he worked with what he had and developed his attitudes according to his experience. We all do that.
    One thing to also remember, as Keith says, most everyone in the field thinks Kelly is the real deal and will succeed. Kelly is a smart man and smart men (and women) are a quick learn and change and adapt to new circumstances. Given a little time and a signature win or two (as USC=OJ said) he will get those “chippers”.
    Given that and his proven ability to develop the 2-3 star types (something Weis couldn’t or wouldn’t do) your looking at a certain BCS bowl team.
    A word of caution. This won’t happen overnight and in the coming season beating the teams he should beat and some that he might beat will be the test.

  7. willmose - Jan 23, 2010 at 9:40 AM

    Keith, get yourself a Windows 7 computer. It really is a better and cheaper computer than what Apple currently puts out. Apple had the lead for a long time, but now there are like U of Michigan football program, great oldie. The good people at Apple will charge you more than a new PC cost. I am an original Macintosh owner and love my iTouch, but I wouldn’t take a current Mac on a bet. Of course, that will probably all change on 1/27/2010. Great backups for the PCs run under $70.

  8. TLNDMA - Jan 24, 2010 at 7:58 AM

    I think right now we should have more confidence in Brian Kelly recruiting the type of players he needs, than in the recruiting services rankings of high school players. I think Kelly’s credentials are better than those of the “experts” who rank these kids.
    Let’s hope we can sign a few more kids and then this will be a pretty solid class.

  9. TLNDMA - Jan 24, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    Just lost Leuders and probably Bernard. Leuders is a big loss, need to get a couple D linemen. Nedd to close pretty strong now.

  10. NDFAN401 - Jan 25, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    I’ve been out of the country for awhile and have just been able to start to read about the recruiting losses. I was hoping for better but these things happen after a coaching staff change. Hopefully Coach Kelly and his staff can get things under control and let the incoming recruits know that things are going to improve but it must be a team effort. Damn, time get on another transport!

  11. sharkey - Jan 25, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    This is a battle for Kelly to win or lose. No blame to him for losing the recruits he has. just as NDFAN says, its to be expected. I’m not trying to put BK down or bad mouth him in any way, it’s only a concern that I have as he doesn’t have a track record of competing in recruiting the level of athletes that are now available to him that were not before.
    I’m sure, since he has a such a penchant of developing talent, he has also developed a good eye for identifying good talent.

  12. TLNDMA - Jan 25, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    Lots of recruits coming to campus this weekend. Let’s hope for fairly good weather. Getting these kids in Southbend on the last weekend could be huge.

  13. Jan - Jan 25, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    “..Let’s hope for fairly good weather…” Let’s get out the beads and PRAY for good weather and recruit visit experience leading to a great outcome from the weekend! :-)
    We’ll win some, we’ll lose some…it’s a major life decision for these student athletes. Stanford (and other universities) have a very attractive package to present as does ND.
    The sky is not falling…no recruit (other than the early enrollee)is final until the FAX is received and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of “verbal commitment” movements involving any number of universities in both directions…and there are still some very potentially impactful individuals that have not made a verbal commitment to date (see
    Perhaps the silver lining is that I’d rather have an individual change his mind before a scholarship is dedicated to him and it essentially becomes a lost opportunity for another player. I think the recruits that transfer after a short stay at ND are more harmful to the program than those that never come at all.
    I feel quite good about the staff that Coach Kelly has assembled and reports of the efforts (including those by the current ND players) being made to bring in a solid class. The signs for short and continued success are promising.
    Besides, what an entertaining January! I’m looking forward to hear & read more recruiting news, reports coming out of Camp Kelly, Spring Practice, etc. I’ll bet the campus has shed the football doom and gloom mood of November. No disrespect to b-ball and other ND sports, but how many days until the Sep 4th Purdue game?

  14. TLNDMA - Jan 25, 2010 at 5:38 PM


  15. internet download speed test - Feb 17, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    It seems like you’ve gathered yourself a good size following these days! I’m happy for you.

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