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Kelly names Collinsworth, Day, Martin and McDaniel captains

Aug 26, 2014, 8:38 PM EDT

Temple v Notre Dame Getty Images

Brian Kelly announced his captains for the 2014 season, naming safety Austin Collinsworth, defensive lineman Sheldon Day, center Nick Martin and running back Cam McDaniel his four leaders for the upcoming season.

Kelly made the announcement via Twitter this evening, after saying the news was imminent during his weekly Tuesday press conference.  The four players aren’t surprises, though Kelly has said multiple players could fill a leadership role.

Collinsworth started 11 games last season at safety and has made 39 career appearances. The grad student made 43 tackles and three interceptions in 2013. Day enters his junior season having played in 24 of 26 games, starting eight last season in an injury-plagued sophomore campaign. He’s expected to do big things in new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder’s scheme.

Offensively, the Irish will have Martin leading the offensive line, taking over for his brother Zack, a two-time captain. Nick moved into the starting lineup last season at center after backing up Braxston Cave in 2012. He started the first 11 games of the season before being injured against BYU.

McDaniel has played in 34 games over the last three seasons, making four starts last year as he led the Irish in rushing yards. He ran for 117 yards against BYU and broke 100 all-purpose yards against USC and Arizona State as well.

Kelly has talked about the team’s leadership, praising a large group of players young and old on this team. And while some speculated that Everett Golson or Jaylon Smith could end up wearing the ‘C,’ Kelly naming these four doesn’t mean that others haven’t stepped forward.

“I’ve got a great Unity Council that is representative of our freshmen, sophomores, junior and seniors, and it’s a very active group, the most active I have had since I’ve been here at Notre Dame,” Kelly explained earlier Tuesday. “They are calling meetings, soliciting input from the players, very, very active group that is right now very important to our group.”

Notre Dame opens the season on Saturday afternoon against Rice in Notre Dame Stadium. The game will be televised on NBC, with the national broadcast beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.

  1. sblxdoc - Aug 26, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    Great combination of both offensive and defensive players. All seem like solid individuals based on interviews.

    • onward2victory - Aug 27, 2014 at 2:10 AM

      Collinsworth seems like a great kid, but KVR was a lock to have that captain spot until the investigation broke.

      • sblxdoc - Aug 27, 2014 at 10:40 AM

        I agree.

  2. 25kgold - Aug 26, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    I sure hope Collinsworth being made captain means Shumate will start! -_-

    • bernhtp - Aug 26, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      I imagine you mean that you hope that Shumate will develop further so he can beat out Collingsworth. Shumate has more athletic potential, but there is clearly more to the position than that.

  3. irishlad19 - Aug 26, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    Core ND guys, will give 100% all year.
    Go Irish!

  4. seadomer - Aug 26, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    Don’t know if you guys remember me saying that I saw flashes of zbikowski in Collinsw. However, since his injury, his play has been less forceful.
    Hopefully, he can prove otherwise. Day and Martin were no surprise but Cam ….. Is a little surprising.

    • bearcatirishfan - Aug 26, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      He reminds me of zibi too, the part where zibikowski was always chasing receivers across the goal line yelling please don’t score.

      • wisner74 - Aug 26, 2014 at 10:10 PM

        I was never a huge Zibby fan as a safety. I loved him as a punt returner. On D he seemed to me to be very good in run support, but frequently a day late and a dollar short in pass defense.

      • bearcatirishfan - Aug 27, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        probably way too late but I always thought he would be a great linebacker if he would quit boxing and gain 20 lbs.

      • nudeman - Aug 27, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        Zib was a true ND guy and a tough hitter but just a horribly overrated football player
        People bang on Farley and Collinsworth for their coverage skills but they’re Deion compared to this clown.

        And he did his legacy no favors when a year ago he confided to that he was a heavy drinker and often played badly hung over.

        He did so over lunch to a reporter. While having a beer(s). Again …lunch

        Not a Zib fan.

    • papadec - Aug 27, 2014 at 4:47 AM

      Cam is no surprise to me – he’s been a hard nosed, hard working RB – sets a good example to the two slash & dash guys. I’m glad that he was named a Captain.

  5. fnc111 - Aug 26, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Not a good sign for Bryant. I have a feeling either Folston or GB will get screwed out of a lot of carries this season. Kelly loves his guys like Rees and Cam that can’t win you big games.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Aug 26, 2014 at 11:46 PM

      So, somehow, you equate being captain to getting carries?

    • nudeman - Aug 27, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      I would not lump Cam in with the other guy you mentioned

  6. fnc111 - Aug 26, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Please never put Collinsworth in the same sentence with Zibby ever again.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Aug 26, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      I agree to never put Collinsworth in the same sentence as Zibby.

      Sorry, the 12 year old in me couldn’t resist

  7. bernhtp - Aug 26, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    All very solid choices, most obvious.

  8. newmexicoirish - Aug 26, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    I don’t have any serious quarrel with who was selected, but is anyone else surprised that our starting quarterback is not among them? I guess with everything I read and heard about his maturity level growing as well as his leadership skills, he might end up with a “C” on his jersey

    • bernhtp - Aug 26, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      He needs to be another year removed from his academic misjudgment, especially in light of recent suspensions. I bet Golson gets a C next year if he does well, shows good leadership, and keeps his nose clean.

  9. bjc378 - Aug 27, 2014 at 1:57 AM

    Meanwhile, in LA, things are going a bit worse for one of their captains

    • liv4nd - Aug 28, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      Hahaha…what’s JG got to say about the fake”saving my nephew” story…now the kid is lawyered up?


  10. knuterocknesghost - Aug 27, 2014 at 4:41 AM

    Just opinions of mine, like everyone else, with apologies to all for being seen as stating the obvious.

    Aside from Jaylon Smith and Sheldon Day, I expect that James Onwualu, who had been a wide receiver and played as a serious head-hunting special teams player, will have a standout season at linebacker and brings much needed quickness to the linebacking corp. His toughness on special teams stood out.

    I think Van Gorder is the best thing to happen to Notre Dame in since last season. Golson’s return is very important too, but MZ is a close second to Golson in terms of what his potential value would have been to the team had Golson not returned leaving BK to focus on MZ alone to spread the ball among a greater number of offensive weapons like a point guard in basketball. Van Gorder’s experience both in the NFL and in the SEC are big plusses for future recruiting of players, but more importantly for the present, he looks to be a great student of the defensive side of football and is a very conscientious teacher of the game to his players. “Class participation” is required by all. No sleeping in the back of the meeting room according to one source reporting on ND. Van Gorder has said that he is pleased at the pace with which his players have absorbed the new defensive schemes. Van Gorder’s talents as a teacher of the game are likely more critical to ND’s success this season since the athleticism of Niles Morgan constitutes an essential ingredient for a solid defense this season that would encourage expectations that ND might be able to hold its own against Florida State should Morgan crack the starting line-up on defense. Smith, Morgan and Onwualu would compare fairly well as a set of starting three linebackers against the opposing defenses ND will face this season. Young faces put in new places under the expert tutelage of a good coach are not always signs of the impending the end of the world for a football season.

  11. knuterocknesghost - Aug 27, 2014 at 4:42 AM

    What’s obvious and no doubt is always in the back of everyone’s mind is that ND will have to be lucky (VERY LUCKY) with the injury bug this season if it is to have any hope of winning 9 or 10 games this year season given the lack of depth on ND’s defense. That also extends to Golson’s knowing when to quit and hit the turf or run out of bounds. MZ right now hasn’t progressed as far on the learning curve as Golson has.

    • papadec - Aug 27, 2014 at 4:56 AM

      So, I guess what you are saying is that the equipment manager will have to rummage through the storage locker & break out ALL the horseshoes from “The Four Horsemen”, this season?

  12. knuterocknesghost - Aug 27, 2014 at 4:43 AM

    Biggest reason to expect Golson to have a big season? This season’s O-line is better than that from 2012, and Bryant and Folston are more talented than Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood. And this year’s Cam McDaniel is more experienced than 2012’s Cam McDaniel. Because of this, Golson should be far more likely to believe and appreciate at the start of each game that he will not be required or expected to win games all or mostly with his legs. That’s far different from saying he still has the opportunity to take advantage of defensive mistakes by ND’s opponents with his running ability.

    With Golson’s expected growth as a QB, the offense looks to be finally able to dictate the tempo of the game to opposing defenses just as BK was able to do at Cincinnati, where BK surprised everyone by getting that team into a BCS bowl two years in a row. Now he’s at ND with at least a few more better tools with which to orchestrate his offense that, hopefully, offsets the fact that ND plays a tougher schedule. Despite the four player suspensions, I believe BK still is the most excited for a season to start since he’s been to ND.

  13. knuterocknesghost - Aug 27, 2014 at 4:44 AM

    Red zone headaches? Take a TD pass or two by Corey Robinson and call me the morning after the game. Gotta hope that the thumb injury he sustained will not bother him early this season. Maybe BK should hold him out of the Rice game. Great hands on Corey as a receiver (way up the scale on the “wow” meter). See also my remarks about Tyler Luatua below for red zone headache relief.

    Too many pundits seem to discount the magnitude by which BK’s emphasis this season on improving special teams play will add to ND’s odds of success. I gotta believe that starting field position gained by ND on special teams versus what it has yielded to opponents in the past few seasons has had a greater negative effect on ND’s point differential than what many have attributed to other reasons.

    Will Fuller? Your time has come. Stretching the field along with Chris Brown only makes the running game more effective. Jjohny Williams, don’t be a stranger to the weight room during the season. Your speed off the edge combined with greater size will needed later in this fall to improve depth as injuries can be expected.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Aug 27, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      Its not so much the team, although with the 4 missing that is a huge, its the fact we play a stupid schedule. Even Mack Brown said to Brian K ” you need to get your AD under control that is a ridiculous schedule ” If Michigan State wins out they are in the play offs. 1 loss to Florida State will get us in but another one say to USC or Stanford forget it. This will be a complete waste of a year. We need to just join the ACC and stop trying to pretend we are living in the days where we recruited like Alabama. We are a big east team playing the hardest schedule in the country. That is like Nevada playing all SEC teams and expecting them to win 5 games… Notre Dame has just become a joke and all the espn pundits just try to hold in the laughter when they talk about ND making it to a playoff.

      • liv4nd - Aug 28, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        Troll…go away

  14. knuterocknesghost - Aug 27, 2014 at 4:45 AM

    With Tyler Luatua running interference for the likes of Bryant and Folston who doubts that ND’s third down conversions stats will benefit to keep the chains moving or that opposing defenses will have their hands more than full on goal line stands inside the 10? BK has already observed in one of his press conferences that Luatua is considered mobile enough to play H-back or full back and “He’s close to 270 pounds, and when he brings it, he’s a heavy load.” Full backs have become an endangered species in CFB, and especially with the advent of the spread offense. But BK’s remarks show he’s not blind to the advantages offered by Luatua for the running game. The odds of ND’s surprising the pundits this season are increased by Lautua’s influencing BK’s thinking about ND’s rushing offense because, as many have already repeatedly observed here, a successful running attack by ND greatly increases the odds of ND winning football games.

    • papadec - Aug 27, 2014 at 5:03 AM

      What the hell are the two of us doing up at this time of morning/night? Good posts – thanks. I think it is more likely that Cam will follow Tyler into the end zone, when they are inside the 5 or 10 yard line.

  15. yaketyyacc - Aug 27, 2014 at 5:09 AM

    now I understand why you are knuterocknesghost. great posts. thanks.
    and congratulations to our new Captains. Get Rice!

  16. irishwilliamsport - Aug 27, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    BK is a real control freak at times, why not let the players decide who the captains are ? Golson and Jaylon Smith are the leaders on each side of the ball and were left out just like Nix was last year. Disappointing.

    Stereotype white defensive end from NJ ? Huh ? Borderline inappropriate.

    • blackirish23 - Aug 27, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      If important decisions such as team captains were left up to 18 – 21 year olds, it would be a popularity contest and not so much a testament to true leadership.

      I also do believe BK solicits input from his “leadership council” comprised of freshmen to seniors on the team before making a final decision on the team captains.

      Lastly, Keith’s reference to a white DE from NJ was in reference to the fact that the current majority of Defensive Ends are mostly black, and that Trumbetti was breaking that mold. Nothing inappropriate there….sorry. Same thing as saying a black athlete was breaking into a position that has stereotypically been held by white players. Stop trying to create a controversy where none exists.

      Captains – Good luck!!

  17. irishwilliamsport - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Jared Allen, Chris Long, JJ Watt etc.

    • blackirish23 - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      We can all hope Trumbetti develops into one of those exceptional players.

  18. subalum - Aug 27, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    “Outlined against a blue gray October sky the four horseman rode again. In dramatic lore their names are Death, Destruction, Pestilence, and Famine. But these are only aliases. Their real names are: Golson, Bryant, McDaniel, and Folston.” Go Irish Beat Rice!

    • johngaltisspeaking - Aug 27, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      The 4 horsemen have left for the SEC in search of a new home. The Four Horseman don’t have a home with the Yales Harvards and soon to be Notre Dame.

  19. johngaltisspeaking - Aug 27, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    I think they should have named one of Alabama’s players the Captain of the ND squad. Either that or Cody Riggs as he is the only true SEC Player. Sec BITCHES SEC

    • papadec - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:51 PM

      So your rating system, where you have named several ND players as “sec” quality, is just as much BS as you are? You throw so much crap out here, you can’t keep track of it.

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