Scary news after practice today from Brian Kelly, who announced that center Dan Wenger is recovering from another concussion, the second in three weeks, and an injury that clouds his future in football.
“He’s had these concussions and we’re going to have to make a decision as to whether we can put him back on the field,” Kelly said. “He’s out right now. He had another concussion so that’s his second concussion in three weeks. That’s a decision that our medical team is looking at right now. Dan and his family are involved in that decision.
“Dan and I had a long conversation today. We’re going to have to make a decision as to whether or not we can put him back on the field. We’re really hesitant to do that right now.”
There’s no injury scarier than concussions and I’m happy that Kelly and the medical staff are taking this seriously. Wenger discussed earlier in fall camp that his brothers and family have concussions in their medical history, and it’s something that he was taking seriously then, and most definitely will be taking serious now.
While it’d be a shame if injuries derailed the final season of Dan’s career after they played such a significant part over the past four years, being able to walk away from the game without some of the lingering effects of concussions is a much better scenario than hitting the field and putting yourself in greater danger.
With rain falling and the forecast expecting much more, Notre Dame and Clemson are kicking off in primetime anyway.
College GameDay was on campus this morning, showcasing the soggy conditions and the mud-covered campus. And while some wondered whether or not the kickoff would move up to earlier in the day to take advantage of a slight lull in the conditions, kickoff is remaining at 8:22 p.m.
“We’ve been in constant communication with state and local law enforcement and have monitored weather throughout the week and today,” director of athletics Dan Radakovich said in a statement Friday night. “I’ve spoken with campus leaders, State Highway Patrol, and Governor Nikki Haley, and feel confident we can play the game as scheduled. We ask our fans to be conscientious arriving and departing from our campus as we will have some limitations due to this ongoing weather event.”
Ball security will be key this evening, and during an interview with Tom Rinaldi this morning Kelly mentioned the punting and kick game as concerns in these conditions. The Irish came to Clemson prepared for miserable conditions and if the forecast holds, they’ll get just that.
Notre Dame’s tight end recruiting keeps rolling. The Irish received a commitment from Illinois tight end Cole Kmet, who adds a third piece to Notre Dame’s 2017 recruiting class.
Kmet is a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, joining fellow blue-chipper 2017 tight end Brock Wright in next year’s recruiting class (they won’t sign until February 2017). He had early offers from plenty of the top programs around the country, but picked Notre Dame over finalist Ohio State, a nice recruiting victory for Scott Booker and Brian Kelly.
Kmet talked about the decision with Irish 247 who broke the news:
“I think it was just a gut feeling knowing it was Notre Dame,” Kmet to Irish 247. “I didn’t want to pass on playing for that program and attending that university. It’s always been the school I wanted an offer from and Ohio State made it really close, but I just couldn’t pass on Notre Dame.”