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Decision made, Davonte Neal set to pick school

Feb 15, 2012, 11:49 AM EDT

Davonte Neal

Three weeks after coming up on the short end of the stick on Signing Day, the Irish might be getting the impact receiver they’ve been in search of this recruiting class. Multiple reports have Davonte Neal ready to select a school, with the talented two-way player making his announcement on February 21st. The blue-chip athlete and player of the year in the state of Arizona, who could play wide receiver or cornerback in college, has Notre Dame in his finalists along with Arizona, Arkansas and North Carolina.

If Notre Dame fans are feeling optimistic, it’s because of the recent tweet from the National Football Post’s Dion Caputi, who stated he’s “been told by a source close to 4-star WR/CB Davonte Neal that the last available star player ‘sounds for sure’ headed to Notre Dame.”

The Neal family has been tight-lipped throughout the recruiting process, something they started after Davonte’s high school season ended. While Neal would fill a pressing need for the Irish at either slot receiver or cornerback, not to mention add a true weapon in the return game, every program still in the running has a sales pitch that fits for a player like Neal, who some recruiting services have pegged as the top all-purpose athlete in the country.

The Neal family has consistently praised the recruiting job Notre Dame has done with the family, and Kerry Cooks was the first coach in the door to see Neal when the family started his recruitment in December. After an official visit to South Bend attended by both father and son, Notre Dame has been in good position, especially after Neal either dropped or was dropped (depending on the story you read) by Ohio State.

We’ll find out for sure were Neal is going on Tuesday, when he makes his announcement from his former grade school in Scottsdale. He’d be the 17th commitment to the class of 2012, and either the third wide receiver or second true cornerback in the class.


  1. irishinmich - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    I will believe it when nudeman hears it at the gym. (Fingers crossed)

    • dickasman - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:09 PM

      hahahahahahaha, LOL at the gym comment. Nude, which gym do you workout at? 24hr? LA or Equinox? or at the local YMCA with the lower class peeps?

      I agree, with Arizona. I don’t see this kid leaving that warm weather for SB. Can’t blame him either really. Oh well, Roby Toma, u betta git that 40 time up soooooooooooonnnnnnnnn!

  2. nudeman - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:04 PM


  3. andy44teg - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Man, I’d really hate for you to miss what i wrote, Nude..since you waited all last night, so i figured i better put it here, too…

    I do….605-207-0400….sorry i didn’t get back to you right away…i don’t live on my computer…got a wife, and two kids under the age of 5, so when i get home i’ve got shit to was, you know..kind of a woman’s holiday…judging by what time your comments were was just you and your hand last night

    • nudeman - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      Wrong Andrew
      Have a wife and 11 year old. Did flowers, dinner and gifts.
      But nothing for you, as the soup Nazi would say. That’s because you are the type who never puts anything on the line but lay back and wait for someone to be wrong, then you jump on it with relish like a 3rd rate sportswriter who asks the coach after the game “why did you call THAT play?”

      But I still love you, and everyone else here for that matter.

      • andy44teg - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:54 PM

        How was i wrong? All I meant was that it looked like you struck out “judging by what time your comments were posted”…never said anything about not having a family..hell..i don’t think i even inferred it. Back to the predictions…I just think it’s pointless to try and guess where a 17-18 year old kid is going to spend the next 4 years…the only point to it is to be able to say…”see..i told ya so”…if you got one right. It’s just speculation for the sake of speculation…ZERO point in it…(i take that back..there’s 1..see above) Also, I wasn’t giving you crap for being wrong..Those guys were saying how right you were about recruiting…and i just couldn’t fathom why they were saying that. You were wrong on 3 out of 8, and Davonte’s not going to ASU so you were 1/2 wrong with him and have the chance to be 100% wrong. Sorry if you were offended, buddy. I also think that if you throw predictions out there you better be ready to take the heat when your wrong. Doesn’t matter where the crap-slinging is coming from.

      • uawlocal1136 - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:35 PM

        Really Nude? You love the NBC Sports blog trinity? Of course, I am speaking of Domer 77, the Goat Blower and myself. Truly have yet to feel the “love.” Oh, don’t get me (‘er us) wrong. We really don’t want to feel your definition of love..kinda makes us feel squirrely and the need to back of the room….:). With regard to Mr. Neal, quite surprised you omitted the obligatory “F” bomb, if he chooses elsewhere…but that’s coming, I (we) are quite sure.

        Andy44teg. Your comments are not only hysterical, but spot on…with one minor exception. You left out the wife beater attire and oscillating fan accouterments….hey, nude, better luck next V-day. Jerry S. should be on work release by then.

        Buy American! Buy Union! Support the Michigan Auto Industry and re-elect President Obama!!!!! Socialism and organized labor Rule.

      • nudeman - Feb 15, 2012 at 6:18 PM

        Your stuff and incessant raw sewage would be borderline readable if it was “clever”. Even just a littlle.
        It isn’t. Regardless of the ID you use.

        I have heard your birth certificate is an apology letter from the condom factory. True?

      • dickasman - Feb 16, 2012 at 11:49 AM

        Hey, all you need to know is that this guy’s a Obama fan. Didn’t know ND had a single Obama fan? Hey UAW, I hope Grambling does well this year!

    • dickasman - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Andy, do you mind if I give you a booty call sometime? Hey, I have multiple girlfriends but I use my hands sometimes….is that wrong? Sometimes, I just prefer my hands as my hands do not talk!

      • andy44teg - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:58 PM

        Haha…go for it..

    • nudeman - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      Andy I’m guessing that phone #, if I was stupid enough to dial it would be some sort of “clever” application you’ve built that would immediately trigger a public colonoscopy for me or send my home into foreclosure. So no thanks.

      But let’s get YOU on the record: where do YOU think Neal is going?

      • dickasman - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        hahahhaha, I don’t mind Andy at all but I think you have him pegged correctly. He wears nothing on his sleeves which is fine.

      • andy44teg - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM

        Wrong, Nude…That’s my bona-fide cell number. If you call it and it’s not..I promise to never back-talk you again.

  4. nudeman - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Too tied up with work so no news forthcoming from gym.
    While my hopes are buoyed (slightly) by recent rumors and tweets I am sticking with my UA prediction.

    I think if this decision was left entirely to Davonte, which it isn’t, I’d say this would be a UA slam dunk. So the thing nobody knows is to what degree Dad has influenced Davonte. I certainly don’t know. And neither does anyone outside the Neal household.

    I still maintain it’s UA because it’s a least path of resistance option for Davonte.

    • dickasman - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:37 PM

      You know what, the daddy should really let the kid decide. I think it was up to the kid, I am sure he’d choose ASU or UA. Its total parrrry time schools. No kid does not like either of those schools especially if he has facebook or twatter accounts. Have you seen all the drunken lil slutttttski’s they have at both of these finely respective universities? I have….well ASU anyways up close and personal but I also hear UA gives ASU run for its money as well.

      • dickasman - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:43 PM

        Aaaaaah well if he does choose UA, I’ll put my early vote in for him for another used car salesman of the year at the used car salesman year of the year awards. I have multiple ballots mind you.

        “Welcome to the 2016 Used Car of the Year Awards. The nominees areeeeeeeeeeee:
        Froooooom Freebeeno, Deontay Greenberry!
        Froooooom Ariiii “zoo”naaa, Davonte Neal!
        Froooooom Jersey Shore, Yuriiiiiiiiiiiiii Wrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroooooooong!!

        And the Winner issssssssssssssssssssssssssssss…..”

  5. ct111 - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    I put my money on UA

  6. nudeman - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Tapping foot … Waiting for Andy’s prediction.

    • andy44teg - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      Lol..FINE…i think he’s gonna go to ND..gawdamn peer pressure!

      • nudeman - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        Gotcha on record. Better be prepared for the heat, son.
        And I AM going to text you.

      • dickasman - Feb 16, 2012 at 11:52 AM

        HAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Andy you’ve got to put the ND hat away for a minute and be subjective and think like a 17 yr old black male when you say that.

        I hope you’re right.

        • andy44teg - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:14 PM

          Hey..I might be just a lil bit optomistic w/ this kid..but he seems like a good fit all wise and is going NOWHERE…just hired richrod..(yippeeeee!) and are going to be stuck behind oregon, usc, stanford, washington (pry) and asu for the foreseeable future…

    • dmac4real - Feb 15, 2012 at 8:56 PM

      I do not comment much on here…mostly just read…but For the record. I do not agree with a lot of your comments, but i at least do respect them.Lately however, I have agreed about many things. TR should not start. If he does its either 1. BK has some weird man crush on him as I do Robinson Cano. or 2. Our other QB’s are that far behind…totally irrelevant point but just thought id atleast let u know i respect ur opinion almost higher than most others here….

  7. runners00 - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    One observation (and perhaps we’ve all created this need, in a way, by worshipping the recruiting services, the blogs and etc.):

    The kid who misses national signing day somehow is able to command a press conference that reporters will attend? And said press conference will take place one week from today?

    Who would attend this besides local news reporters? Would NBC send someone to cover a press conference involving where a high school kid plans to go to college? Would, say, the Chicago Tribune or the Chicago Sun Times?

    It just seems so . . . unreal. In all likelihood (no offense Davonte), the kid’s not going to get a lot of playing time whether he goes to Arizona, Notre Dame, Arkansas or North Carolina (especially as a freshman who isn’t enrolled). I mean, the numbers bear that out. Consider that 80 kids have scholarships and only 25 or 30 regularly play. So, again, why would anyone cover this if s/he wasn’t based on Arizona?

    I think the kid just wanted a deadline and he hasn’t formally decided where he’s going. I’d like for him to go to Notre Dame. As I’ve posted, obtaining a college degree is a major accomplishment and in the post-manufacturing society in which we live, for most people, it’s a necessity to get through the middle class. Notre Dame makes sure its student athletes attend class and graduate. And they leave South Bend with a degree from a great university, ready to take on the world.

  8. ndrocks2 - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Kid seems like a lot of drama, what is his reason for waiting this long besides attention? Dad seems like a piece of work as well. Hope he comes to ND but wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up just about anywhere including teams not listed.

    • papadec - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:12 PM

      ndrocks2 – I don’t see it as a lot of drama. He waited until the end of his HS football season to finish taking his official visits. The family has been very close to the vest during the whole process – not unlike several other recruits. This is an important decision for Davonte and his family. It’s only a few weeks after NSD. IMO – not a big deal. I’d love to have him @ ND & if waiting until FEB 21st & his mother’s birthday is what it takes – so be it. Less than a week now.

  9. oldestguard - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Very slow in the world of College Football right around now and Neal is just about the only show left in town.

    But I can wait till next week ….

  10. jerseyshorendfan1 - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    I’m going out on a limb and predicting North Carolina. If he does pick the Tar Heels then I will look really smart. But if he picks ND I will be happy, so there’s a 50/50 shot at a positive outcome. In the final analysis, given how many of these highly ranked kids flame out in college, I really couldn’t give 2 shits where he ends up. I doubt whether the Naval Academy has ever even had a 3 star player coming out of high school and yet they manage to whoop up on us every now and then. It’s not about stars, it’s about heart and desire, something Weis didn’t seem to know how to channel. Lou Holtz knew how to tap into that…….”Save Jimmy Johnson for me.” Jury is still out on Kelly and with all the shake-ups on the staff, I’m not real optimistic that they can gel as a coaching unit to get the most out of these guys. That is going to take some time.

  11. bernhtp - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    I don’t understand why Neal would decide but not announce for another six days. What’s the point? It seems like gratuitous drama to me. Just send your fax in and shut up.

    • dickasman - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      Well said Bern. Stop with the Drag show already…..well unless he’s a crossdresser.

  12. nudeman - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    The kid is supposedly not a drama seeker.
    In fact is supposedly a humble, down to earth guy.
    Remember he was going to announce on the 10th then had a death in the family.

    It is unusual for a high profile guy like Davonte to wait past NSD, but maybe he just wasn’t ready.
    Even if he picks UA I won’t put him in the “F Bomb eligible” category like Armstead, who was obviously using ND from the get-go. Neal seems like he’s doing his due diligence. Nothing wrong with that.

    If I had to guess I’d say the inner debate in his head has been about 1) do I go where I know I’ll be comfortable and close to home? Or 2) do I stretch a bit, get out of my comfort zone, put up with some homesickness but ultimately give myself a chance for one of life’s brass ring opportunities?

    Hard one.

    • bernhtp - Feb 15, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      But back to my question: why say that you’ve decided but delay the official announcement of that decision for six days? Why not just send in the fax and get back to life? Why the additional drama? I don’t get it and am hoping someone will explain.

      • oldestguard - Feb 15, 2012 at 6:28 PM

        per this article, it’s his mother’s birthday…maybe that’s the reason.

      • bernhtp - Feb 15, 2012 at 6:51 PM

        I would prefer the reason to be because it’s his father’s birthday given that his dad seems to be pushing for ND.

      • ndrocks2 - Feb 15, 2012 at 7:47 PM

        I hope it as simple as his mother’s birthday. Could be he is giving recruiters six more days to tell him how great he is and make sure a new team doesn’t come forward. Still sounds like he and his dad love the drama they are creating by being last one standing. Either he or his dad supposedly rubbed OSU wrong and they pulled back their offer but with Diggs going to Maryland and a recruit or two leaving the program don’t be surprised if both sides are not at least talking. Urban is looking for a Percy Harvin type for OSU and it appears this kid has the speed to fit the bill.

    • dickasman - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      Boy by the look of that mean picture, he sure looks it!

  13. unomasmore - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Brian Kelly’s red faced antics cost the team wins and recruits. Simple as that.

    Not saying he is terrible or that he and his staff did not do a decent job with this year’s class, just that he needs to give that up. You do not want your kids playing scared. Not in this day in age.

    • turknd - Feb 15, 2012 at 7:58 PM

      You may be right with the athletes these days -they feel they are entitled. Maybe you do too, turn your head when he is doing it if you can’t stomach it, it’s football!

    • dmac4real - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:07 PM

      I actually read and article recently (ik how sketchy this sounds) and i forget who it was about, but it was a junior prospect who had ND in his top 5 and basically said “I love BK’s demeanor. When he screamed the first game, it was controversial, but it FIRED me up.”

    • runners00 - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      Are you effing kidding? Have you ever played football or gone to a practice? All the coaches scream. The fact that Kelly does it on the sidelines and in the lockerroom and on the practice field does not make this team worse. If anything, these kids need a verbal kick in the rear from time to time.

  14. c4evr - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Kelly yells out of frustration and – probably – embarrassment. Holtz used his yelling for instruction and usually ended with a pat on the player’s helmet for encouragement. His players have failed to show for a single BCS caliber opponent. His players may feel ‘pumped up’, but apparently that’s a far cry from being inspired. BK shows signs of entitlement when he ridicules his team in public, rebukes anyone who questions his decisions, and continues to drive the QB situation farther and farther in the ground. Yes, it’s football… But it’s football in the era of social media and widespread televised games. And I would argue that ND’s game hasn’t RESEMBLED football for better than a decade. Unomasmore’s right, BK’s screaming approach is wreckless and, ultimately, fruitless if his kids play like the Frightened Irish.

    • dmac4real - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM

      MSU…a dayne crist fumble away from tying USC in the 4th quarter….Michigan found a miracle to beat us…thats 3 bcs caliber teams. Not saying im proud i just bragged about that, ur just wrong.

      • c4evr - Feb 16, 2012 at 12:01 AM

        You have a more liberal definition of BCS caliber than I intended. I am talking about SC and Stanford (both in 2010 and 2011) only. Against these teams, not only was ND outplayed and out coached, the players failed to rise to meet the challenge. Say what you want, Kelly has a low coaching ceiling because he fails to inspire. History will show that he’s the Tommy Rees of college coaches. Perhaps thats the best the Irish can hope for since the list of applicants dwindles with each failed experiment. We’ve home from a college coach to a offensive coordinator from the pros to a Div. 2 coach of the year… all we’re missing is a coach from a perennial High School powerhouse to take the reigns in a year or 2. Where’s Gerry Faust when you need him??

    • 9irish - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:37 PM

      ehhhhhh…I don’t mind the on the field stuff. Didn’t like some of the after-action comments.

      • mayo1010 - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:19 AM

        @c4evr: “You have a more liberal definition of BCS caliber than I intended. I am talking about SC and Stanford (both in 2010 and 2011) only”. Ummmmm Notre Dame beat SC in 2010…and as for Div 2 coach of the year…Yeah that was a long time ago…how about 2009 Home Depot National Coach of the Year in FBS. Don’t let the facts get in the way of what ever the heck you’re trying to say!

      • c4evr - Feb 16, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        mayo1010. What I am trying to say is that Kelly is in over his head. I mentioned the D2 coach of the year because I felt it held more weight than beating up everybody in the Big East in 2009 before getting destroyed by Florida. Sure Kelly wasn’t there on the sidelines, but do you really think it would have made a difference. Let’s face it, these days – and the foreseeable future – it’s the SEC and everybody else. If Kelly’s kids can’t stand up to the likes of Michigan, MSU, USC (BTW, they were 8-4 in 2010. Not BCS material ), and Stanford, how do you think they would perform against the truly elite teams. But that’s all speculative at this point, the facts are his Woody Hayes approach is either not working with today’s players OR he’s just not very good at it. I challenge anyone to refute Nude’s points below. Certainly we all want to field a winning team… but until he shows the kind of quantum leaps from year to year that Holtz did, he’ll remain under the microscope. He and Weis took opposing approaches, but both will lead to the same outcome. Weis kept scrapping things and starting over questioning every decision he’d made. Kelly, on the other hand, with his immutable arrogance, won’t consider questioning his approach. Case in point, he gets blown out by USC after a bye week this season and responds that ‘I know what I’m doing on a bye week. I’ve had great success. I know what it looks like.” Really?? Even if Holtz THOUGHT that, he’d never have said it… There’s one of 2 things going on here – Either Kelly’s in over his head and I feel sorry for the guy OR he has Aspergers Syndrome and has no idea what his arrogance is doing to ND’s football program.

      • heartofgoldandblue - Feb 16, 2012 at 11:50 AM


        You’re totally right, he especially failed to inspire Jonas Gray to go from a disappointing career at ND to being one of the major catalysts on the team as well as getting an invite to the NFL combine. Very uninspiring….

      • heartofgoldandblue - Feb 16, 2012 at 11:53 AM

        Not to mention the two 1st round and one 2nd/3rd round picks the past two years he “inspired” enough to come back for one more year

      • c4evr - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM

        Heartofgoldandblue, no. it’s you who are correct. I mean after all, any coach that can inspire a single player to his best year ever sounds like the RIGHT GUY. And any coach that can talk a kid out of going to the pros early is, no doubt, a GREAT coach. Are everyone’s expectations so low for this program that it’s reason to celebrate when a kid decides to come back for another year?? Seriously, I’m trying to get a read on this board. If everyone here drinks the kool-aid, then I need to find a board that likes to debate an issue rather than dismiss posts out of hand because they don’t happen to prop up the program. If all the guys here feel like Kelly is the right man for this job, then it truly is the end of the era of excellence and the beginning of rationalized mediocrity (i.e. 8-5 is at least better than what we’ve had in recent years). Take a look at one of Lou Holtz’s first year pep rally speeches on youtube (search 1986 pep rally – lou holtz) and tell me you don’t hear a difference between LH and BK. Then look at any Holtz team on youtube and you’ll see inspired play. And now, we have a guy who deflects blame on to his team, disparages former coach’s recruits, and throws pointless, childish tantrums along the sidelines… and you all defend him? As long as fans embrace the ‘at least we’re getting better’ mantra, ND will struggle to be relevant. Put the first three years of BK and LH side by side and see for yourselves where Kelly stands.

      • bernhtp - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:22 PM

        Mayo: Your analysis is 100% correct.

        While Kelly certainly made mistakes the last two years, he is not over his head. He is the same top-pedigree coach he was at Cincinnati.

        However, he is learning about being coach at Notre Dame, which is a very different job than head coach at Cincinnati. The qualities that Nude highlights – Irish, Catholic, articulate, etc. – are ones that have him spending too much time with donors, media, alumni groups, etc. Also, he can’t afford to speak completely unscripted as much as he does because every word he says will be dissected and scrutinized. My guess is that he will be slightly more focused on coaching this next year.

      • nudeman - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:50 AM

        I have a close relative with Aspergers.
        It’s a terrible condition, and while I know you weren’t making light, let me assure you there’s nothing funny about it. This person I refer to has had a long, lonely miserable life and there’s nothing he or anyone close to him can do to change things.

        Nothing about Kelly suggests he has Aspergers.
        Maybe you and others don’t like him, don’t think he’s the right guy, etc etc.

        A big “no” on BK and Aspergers though. Trust me.

    • nudeman - Feb 16, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      Nail on the head. He seems SO perfect for the job:
      Irish Catholic, young, well spoken, coaching pedigree, type A personality, no nonsense, offensive oriented approach, etc etc

      You’d think at the very minimum his teams would always come out in big games ready to tear the opponent apart at the seams. Except they don’t.

      You’d think he, of all people, would get the QB situation right. Except he hasn’t

      You’d think his teams would play disciplined ball and not beat themselves.
      Except they don’t and they do.

      I’m still a believer. Not whitewashing the past or giving a total mulligan, and am somewhat concerned. The results at this point are mixed. I’d give him at the very best a “B” mostly because of the way he’s rebuilt the D and recruited. But if this was a grade for game day efforts alone, he’d get a “C-” or “D”. That can NOT continue. Is it possible this job is too big for him?
      2012 will go a long way toward answering this.

      • dmac4real - Feb 16, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        I just do not understand what liberty any of us have to constantly bitch about having two 8 win seasons in a row. Is it great? No, not at all. But honestly ite better than what its been lately and at least were effing improving.

      • nudeman - Feb 16, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        We have the liberty to agree, disagree, whine, bitch and celebrate here
        It’s just a goofy football blog.

      • dmac4real - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        I mean more what is the point of even discussing firing kelly when hes improved the team, both on the field and record wise…just seems like a waste to time to me.

      • nudeman - Feb 16, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        Some possible answers
        1) Because we’re out of meth
        2) Because we CAN
        3) Why not?
        4) What’s the point in debating anything? Like politics, fun to argue, guess, opine and make fools of ourselves.

        AND THE REAL ANSWER ….. because we’re all just trying to entertain ourselves in the midst of another workday

      • mayo1010 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        at c4evr: Hate to break it to you but alot of other people thought he was a the BEST coach in the country in 2009–I don’t easily dismiss that as you do. I guess i’m missing something with the “he’s over his head” comment? Over his head from what? Although I’m a huge Irish fan, i can admit that they have been mediocre for the better part of 20yrs–so I really don’t know how someone can be overwhelmed with exceeding those expectations. I think you forget the mess he was handed. Yes there was some talent on the team when he arrived but the depth was woefully pitiful due to Weis’s failure to recruit for need instead of just recruiting star players. He had 1 freaking QB on scholarship when he arrived–and that guy was coming off major knee surgery–i can’t confirm but i bet you they were the only team in college football with only 1 scholarship QB at that time! The defense was swish cheese–they were horrific!
        As for the USC was 8-4 not BCS material comment–i was just merely pointing out the error in your statement about 2010 in your above post– nothing more. Also would you really call last years USC game a blowout. A 14pt final with the Irish going to tie it up early in 4th when Crist fumbled on the 1 or 2. I suppose that was Kelly’s fault too because obviously they did not teach the QB exchange properly or enough….come on dude a freaking EXCHANGE! That play would have deflated any team not just this years team.
        He inherited crap QB’s and if you have crap QB’s your not going to be BCS material. Kelly has recruited Golson and Kiel at the QB position–the others were Weis’s recruits. I believe that 1 of these 2 QB’s will be the starter this year and i’m leaning towards Golson. The only thing standing between 8-5 and BCS was solid QB play–THE ONLY THING! Yes the punt return was garbage and the field goal team missed some crucial kicks but you can survive those at times but you can’t survive poor QB play with all those turnovers (NO TEAM CAN)!
        You seem to want to compare Kelly with Holtz or so it seems with your above posts. Holtz was 13-10 his 1st 2 years at ND. Your looking at Holtz’s Hall of Fame career. You need to stop after the 2nd year at ND to have a fair analysis. At least Holtz had a QB his 1st year–Beuerlein (a solid NFL QB or years). Holtz himself has stated that his 1st team at ND had as much talent as the NC team but didn’t know how to win. Can you actually say Kelly had anything remotely close the NC talent in his 1st year? Cuz i certainly can’t.
        As for his (or so you say) childish tantrums–did you ever see Nick Saban on the sidelines? Or even Holtz (he used to get physical at times with players)…but that’s ok because they’re motivating (and by the way winning). Saban seems to be doing OK on the recruiting trail….so why is he immune to your rationalization of it not working with kids these days?
        Lastly, I’ll say I too was disappointed this year but for much different reasons than you! Kelly is a good coach and it remains to be seen if he is a great coach (Holtz 13-10 after 2yrs remember). If you can’t see, even with all the disappointments, this year that this team is so much better than Weis’s last year and even last years Team than Sir you don’t know football. How easily you forget how bad things were the last few years before Kelly got here.
        By the way, can’t stand up the Michigan, MSU, USC? They handly beat MSU last year! Didn’t they? And Michigan–ummm we all know what happened…but don’t you think we can stand up to them? Just pointing out more errors in you statements–NOTHING MORE! I don’t know what cool aid you’ve been drinking!

      • joeschu - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:04 PM

        I couldn’t agree more… I REALLY wanted this guy to be right, but I was living in Cincinnati at the time, and I understood that there are light years of difference between UC football and the ND spotlight.

        In addition to the “flat” appearances in “big” games, don’t discount the total arrogance as he fumbled about with the QB situation all year. There was no logical rhyme or reason, no “big picture thinking” that went in to the QB plan, and it ruined an otherwise promising season.

        I agree with nude in that we have to stick with him. Ditching him now sets the program back another 4+ years at a minimum, and who would want the job at this point?!?!

        What do you guys make of the “culture” argument. Are we still suffering some of the “Weis culture” or do you think he’s moved beyond that by now? When does a coach fully “own” the full culture of his entire team (i.e.: he recruited all of them). I HATE lending credence to the stupid “my guys” inexcusable excuse, but I think we’re stuck letting this play out and see if he can bring a consistent culture of winning that Lou brought.

      • c4evr - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM

        OK, mayo1010, I’ll bite. But since you only like to cherry pick my posts to make your argument, allow me the same courtesy. In your estimation, BK and LH are almost stride for stride after 2 years. LH was sitting at 14 -10 whereas BK is sitting at 16 -10. If you stop there, you win with your argument… but lets look at the details, shall we. First a little history. Holtz inherited a very mediocre Gerry Faust team that finished the previous year at 6-6. Kelly, likewise inherited a Weis 6-6 team from 2009. I’ll even accept your argument that Holtz’s first team of FAUST RECRUITS was talented enough to win a NC. But you must also accept the fact that Kelly inherited a WEIS team that had a 2006 #5 recruiting class, a 2007 #11 recruiting class, a 2008 #2 recruiting class, a 2009 #23 recruiting class, and a 2010 recruiting class ranked #19. So Kelly’s cupboard was by no means bare, regardless of what BK might have you believe. So, I think we would agree that they both started out at the same place – culture of losing and all. So on to the first 2 seasons. SEASON 1 Kelly lost to 5 teams by a total of 69 points. He also split winning and losing to 2 ranked teams (W #15 Utah L #16 Stanford). Holtz lost 6 games by a total of 32 points. But, he played 6 TOP 20 TEAMS with four of those being in the top 8 in the country. Against that competition, in 4 of those games against ranked opponents(excluding Alabama) he lost BY A TOTYAL OF 14 POINTS. For the sake of argument, I am assuming that ranked teams hold more weight than, say, Tulsa or South Florida. He also beat USC in both his first 2 years. SEASON 2 Kelly’s team starts slowly and loses 5 games by a total of 39 points – a reasonable improvement over the previous year. BK again split in his 2 games against ranked opponents. Holtz loses 3 regular season games by a total of 33 points. Holtz’s team started hot out of the gates at 8 – 1 and played 4 ranked teams and beat all but Miami in a late season collapse before getting pounded by Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. So, overall, they may have similar records after 2 years, but how can you argue the 2 teams were going in the same direction. Holtz increased his win total by a minimum 3 games a year IN EACH OF HIS FIRST 3 YEARS. And we all know how things turned out in year 3. That, my friend, is inspired coaching. Kelly might fit the suit nicely, but he is sorely lacking in the intangibles that separates the best from the rest. Year 3 for kelly, not looking so good at this point since he’ll be playing the caliber of schedule that Holtz dealt with regularly.And if you still disagree in light of all these facts… then I can only quote Neitzsche, ‘To those who understand, no explanation is necessary… to those who don’t, no explanation possible.’

  15. cmb79 - Feb 16, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    After the Greenberry fiasco, I’m not assuming anything until I see it.

  16. ndgoldandblue - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    I hear all of you guys going back and forth on the Coach Kelly debate. Is he the man for the job or not? You have all made some great points on both sides. Here’s my take. I’ll support the guy for now because he’s done a “decent” job with recruiting, and two 8-5 seasons is better than 3-9, 7-6, and 6-6. That said, if the Notre Dame brass decide to get rid of the guy at any point in the future, then I’ll support the next guy. After the pre-signing day defections, the apathy hath runneth over, and frankly, it’s kind of nice. When it’s not football season, I’m less stressed out because I don’t have to think about this football program and all of its issues throughout the week. Isn’t it nice not to be concerned about how the team is going to do on Saturday, or how poorly they did the previous Saturday, or who is or isn’t switching their commitment to or from the University? Only an occasional post on Keith’s blog, but nothing more. Anyway, I’ll chime in for the Spring Game, but after that, it’s no worries until next August. By the way, heartofgoldandblue, your name is awfully close to mine. I thought I was the only one who knew the actual order of the school colors.

    • c4evr - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      My complaint isn’t whether Kelly is the right manor the job or not… I just can’t believe the number of posters here who continue to support the guy. He has continually dropped the ball since he arrived at ND – from the decision to pass late against Tulsa (along with other questionable in-game decisions too numerous to list), to the blaming his players for the late collapse against Michigan, to throwing Weis’ recruits under the bus PUBLICLY, his game time tantrums (if they were bearing any fruit in the W column, I would have excluded this one), to his inexplicable musical chairs QB situation, to late recruiting defections, and, finally, to the clumsy handling of the Sullivan tragedy where he did everything to avoid accountability.No, Kelly is doing just fine being the architect of his own undoing. Of all he does that rubs me the wrong way, it’s his arrogant pride that I heard from him after the USC loss after a bye week and all the hoopla surrounding ND’s first night game with new shiny helmets and rock music – after all that, to come out and play as flat as they did, he had the gall to say that ‘I know what I’m doing on a bye week. I’ve had great success. I know what it looks like’. At that point, I knew this guy was on the clock and that his time at ND was limited. What coach lays the blame at his players’ feet with a statement like that and expects recruits to not read between the lines. What I can’t understand is all his cheerleader posters here that think this guy is the answer. If he’s the answer, then the question needs revision…

      • mayo1010 - Feb 17, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        c4evr: If you call cherry picking as pointing out your errors then so be it. You’ve written so many things that are blantantly wrong and use them as correct facts to fit your story it’s laughable. I’m done with you because of this. You’re like an habitual liar that lies so much he actually believes that they are truths. Just curious are you an Irish fan? Yes or No will suffice.

      • c4evr - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:46 PM

        mayo1010, please name a single thing that I have claimed here that is inaccurate…. As far as whether I am a fan or not? Because I don’t hop on the Kelly bandwagon makes me a traitor, then so be it. If you insist on going down with the ship, who am I to stand in your way. I just wanted you to have the facts when you start comparing Kelly to Holtz – clearly oranges to apples. You have a limited football IQ as evidenced by mentioning the 2 in the same sentence and comparing them favorably. It’s clear ND is at a crossroads. From the mid-60’s to the mid-90’s (30 years), ND went thru 4 coaches. They are now on their 4th coach in the last 15 years. They go through coaches now the way Elizabeth Taylor went thru husbands. But I am sure you’ll call that a lie also, since it doesn’t support your myopic, rah-rah Kelly argument. So the answer to your question is – Yes, I am a fan.

  17. fnc111 - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Not a secret anymore. It’s Arizona for Neal. I’d wish him luck if DkRod wasn’t the coach there.

  18. unomasmore - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    There area a lot of good ,and a lot of interesting comments made here. As much as I want to really dig into this I cannot for the simple reason that I am not sure there will be enough eyeballs to warrant it.

    I will say a couple of things, however.

    — Yes, I played football. Yes, I realize and have seen first hand that coaches yell, scream, get in players face and what-have-you. What Kelly lacks is basic composure(A value I regard highly) on the sidelines and a simple understanding that sh*t happens in a game. Film room, maybe halftime, practice – those are the times to get on the kids if need be. I want a more forward thinking General in the heat of battle, but maybe that is just me.

    Some have made the point Kelly is not the only coach to do this. In a lot of ways, he kind of is as far as top flight programs go, You might find other coaches railing on players for a dumb personal foul or celebration penalty, perhaps fair catching it inside the five yard line, or the occasional terrible interception.. Kelly goes well beyond this over – if you will – routine/normal mistakes and I do not believe it helps the player nor the team going forward, especially in that particular contest.

    To put it real simply and slightly juvenile – He seems a little too perplexed and sad that things did not go as planned. Like a kid dropping his ice cream cone on the ground, he seems both irate and borderline unsure what to do about it. Again, not the demeanor I like to see in my general, especially when so many equally competitive coaches are doing a better job of it.

    Other things to consider:

    Guy loves playing/having multiple QB’s at his disposal. It’s amateur and reeks of a guy who needs to micro-manage. People claim that he did well with Tommy Rees. Tommy was in there because he seemed to be the guy with a little moxy who could take Kelly’s bashing. You forget to to realize Crist was the one who had the by far the biggest upside. Something Kelly did not bring out. Kelly failed here…And once, Tommy became the real starter, Kelly did a great job in rendering him scared and useless as well.

    Notre Dame had about three or four chances to pull an upset this year. They would not have been huge upsets, but nevertheless ND did not win any of those games. His style is good for merely winning the games we are supposed to, if that.

    1st night home game v USC. By many accounts that is worth 10-14 points. Many a school would have simply rode the wave of emotion and electricity to a win in that atmosphere against almost anybody, much less a team that is only marginally better.
    Again, Kelly’s style does not afford that.

    • leapingleprechaun - Feb 17, 2012 at 5:53 PM

      Interesting you say that as you have two all- americans and potential 1st round draft choices advocating for Brian Kelly and his sideline behavior. I would say these two guys are pretty intelligent and probably a better judge than you and your ‘football experience’ ( I played collegiate football as well ) as they physically lived the experience. Unless there is something under the table I simply could not believe these guys would pass up on millions of dollars to experience that behavior ‘unless’ the perception many in tv land have is not actually the reality the players experience… from my point of view I would agree with you to a degree that Kelly was out of his element, however, with that said learned an awful lot this past season about where he is at…He did not coach at a Big Time college ( Cinncinati is NOT big time FBS ball ) before going to ‘the most viewed’ and the most ‘supported AND criticized’ school in the country…Period…it was an adjustment…
      On the QB situation. He inherited two very ‘average’ QB’s in Dayne ( who was oft hurt ) and TR, who was not his recruit. I believe Spurrier is very similar to Kelly in how he handles his QB’s. He has had pretty good succes with I believe a national championship under his belt…On the issue of games we are supposed to win. We were not supposed to win MSU and aside from Stanford played well enough to win every other game. We did not win and not saying we should have but did play well enough to win in all but the Stanford game…Just my input

    • c4evr - Feb 17, 2012 at 7:05 PM

      Hats off to you, unomasmore. I think you summed up the situation very well. Your assessment that he yells more out of embarrassment rather than’ a teaching moment’ is spot on. No wonder his kids played frightened. And can someone please tell me how a walk-on arrives and sets school kicking records and then, after a year’s exposure to Kelly’s coaching, makes just over half of his field goals the following year?? Leapingleprachun’s point only supports my argument that he’s in over his head – ‘Cincinnati is NOT big time FBS ball’. Kelly’s learning the same way Weis learned that, he too, was in way over his head. Problem is, the ND learning curve is turning into a 3 and out. Unomasmore’s final point is, again, my biggest grievance against Kelly… he simply does not inspire his players.

  19. leapingleprechaun - Feb 17, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    I will be thrilled if in fact Davonte picks The Irish….This would be the best pick of all the teams. I mean think about it. At Arizona, he has ‘no’ QB to throw to him. He would be the only star player and with a definite rebuilding with Rich Rod he may never be seen on National TV if the team doesn’t respond. With UNC he would have to move accross country to a school that may get pounded with NCAA sanctions and again never get to play in a Bowl Game…Last with Arkansas ( live in SEC country ) he would be going to a good team ( with very little tradition in a conference full of it ) where he would have to squeal like a pig for four years during pep rallys and end every interview with a happy faced Pig-Souiiiiieeeee!!!
    With The Irish he will have the opportunity to play immediately. Be a differentiator on a potential BCS team next year and with the current youth on the team. A team that could have a real shot at a National Championship ( go ahead haters come on ) over the next couple years. Be on TV EVERY week…Play on a defense that could be elite next year or on offense where he could be the difference between being an average offense or again spectacular with the right QB…Last. Why wouldn’t you want the opportunity to break all the records the Great Rocket Ishmael set….I mean come on Davonte, take on the challenge…: )

  20. kiopta1 - Feb 19, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Way too many nd fans are idiots when it comes to our coaches. They turn their backs on them almost immediately. Even if we were 10-2 the last 2 years there would still be clowns calling for his head or claiming they know that he fails at something or his players don’t like him. As annoyed I can get watching players and even coaches make a bad call it doesn’t even come close to the annoyance i get from a portion of the ND fan base. Calm down, give reality a bear hug, and lay off the hyperbole.

  21. getsome99 - Feb 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Not only do I hope this kid picks another school besides Notre Dame, but I hope BK pulls the scholarship offer asap. It is clear neal does not want to play for ND, so why would we want him?

    First, he delays his signing by 3 weeks, and now he fails to show up for his own announcement/signing? At an elementary school where they pulled the kids out of class for an hour and also invited the media to attend. Not the type of person we want representing the Blue and Gold.

    Having said that, I look forward to seeing Chris Brown light it up the next four years. Toma or TJ Jones can handle the slot nicely for the Irish this season.

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