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Kelly talks program building (and more)

May 20, 2014, 1:29 PM EDT

Brian Kelly podium

With spring practice behind us and summer conditioning not starting until June, we won’t hear much from head coach Brian Kelly. While his staff is out evaluating recruits, the head coach isn’t allowed to be on the road. But before he goes off the radar, the Irish head coach gave a few good interviews in the last few weeks, with the most recent coming with Bruce Feldman, now at Fox Sports.

Kelly was a guest on Feldman’s new college football podcast, and covered some of the national bullet-points that should be interesting to Irish fans more obsessed with the minutia.

Most importantly, the Irish’s success in the NFL Draft is becoming a talking point. While Kelly can’t be happy about losing players like Stephon Tuitt and Troy Niklas after just three seasons, he can take pride in pumping out early round draft picks.

While Kelly has talked about educating his players on the financial differences between being a first rounder and a second or third round pick, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Irish produced 14 draft picks the past two seasons, including seven players taken in the first three rounds.

“In terms of building stability and consistency within your program, when you’re talking about program building it has to start there with graduating your players, being successful on the field and having your guys move on to the NFL,” Kelly told Feldman. “All of those things have to happen year in, year out. We’ve had four No. 1 picks the last three years. All of those things point to developing players and building consistency within your program, and when you can build that within your program, then you can raise the expectations and start looking towards championships.”

During the 20 minute conversation, Feldman and Kelly also discussed the promise of defensive lineman Sheldon Day and running back Greg Bryant. Of course, the conversation also covered Everett Golson and Malik Zaire, with Kelly providing some interesting context to the quarterback battle.

And last but not least, we take a trip down Memory Lane to Kelly’s days as Assumption’s softball coach, where Kelly coached a family member of Feldman’s roughly 25 years ago.

You can listen to it all below.


  1. kiopta1 - May 20, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Good stuff. Go Irish!

  2. getsome99 - May 20, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Kelly had 9 players get drafted this year. Aaron Lynch was drafted based on potential he showed while a Freshman at ND. Dude could have played intramural ball at St Mary’s this year and been drafted where he was.

  3. mtflsmitty - May 20, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Minutia? Minutia?!?!

  4. ndfenian - May 20, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Shouldn’t it be “Bruce caught up with Brian Kelly”? It’s not like the head coach has been desperate to have Bruce Feldman interview him for months now.

  5. ndgoldandblue - May 22, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    This talk about ND players getting drafted means nothing to me. I’m only concerned about the team that Notre Dame has playing on Saturdays, and you can have an entire roster of NFL talent, but if it doesn’t produce championships–or, at least a marquee bowl victory (sorry Pinstripe Bowl, you’re not marquee)–then it’s meaningless. I’d rather see a team of nobodies, a la the Miracle on Ice team, go up against the best and win it all than have a team of all-stars who routinely come up short (I’m talking to you, Cleveland Indians from the mid to late 90’s).

    The only benefit I can see from it is a selling point to potential recruits. But I don’t know…if a high school recruit is good enough to eventually make it to the NFL, they can get there by going to any FBS school. Besides, I don’t think that’s what Kelly’s trying to sell them on anyway.

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