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Early Enrollees: Tevon Coney


Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Measurables: 6-1, 222

Accolades: Under Armour All-American, consensus 4-star recruit, first-team All-Area by Palm Beach Post, second-team 8A Florida All-State team.

Impressive Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Miami, Ohio State

Projected Position: Middle Linebacker


Quick Take: If there’s a recruiting battle that usually ends in heartache, Coney’s was the one. Yet Notre Dame won the this one down the stretch against in-state powers Florida and Miami, helped along the way by the firing of Will Muschamp and some great recruiting by the Irish staff.

Coney’s “commitment” to Notre Dame didn’t stop his recruitment and he remained a priority all the way until he landed on campus. Now he’s in a dorm beginning life as a freshman, with a late January snowstorm welcoming him to South Bend.

Slightly undersized, Coney certainly doesn’t play that way — a tackling machine during his junior and senior seasons. He showed the same type of tenacity when he participated in the Under Armour game.


What he means to the Irish: Coney is a key piece of the puzzle as the Irish prepare for life after Joe Schmidt. With Nyles Morgan coming off a freshman All-American season, the future looks bright with the Chicago product. But getting Coney in for spring practice and getting him into the system now will allow the young linebacker to accelerate his Football IQ, something that proved difficult for even Morgan.

With the jury still out on Michael Deeb’s ability to contribute and Jarrett Grace’s overall health, Coney isn’t that far from the field. And with speed and sideline to sideline ability, Coney could be a candidate for the Will linebacker job as well.


Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s a short highlight reel from Coney’s senior season:


Reports: Kerry Cooks heading to Oklahoma

Kerry Cooks

It appears that Brian Kelly will be filling a hole on his coaching staff after Signing Day. Multiple reports, from both Norman and South Bend, have Irish secondary coach Kerry Cooks leaving Notre Dame to join Bob Stoops’ staff at Oklahoma.

Reports point to Cooks making a parallel move, with Stoops looking to fill a hole at secondary coach. We have yet to hear if Cooks will get an added title bump, like co-defensive coordinator or assistant head coach. Cooks held a co-defensive coordinator title in South Bend for one season, before Brian VanGorder replaced Bob Diaco and took over the defense, relegating Cooks back to secondary coach. Some believe this move has been inevitable since Cooks was passed up for the coordinator job.

The move to Oklahoma makes sense for Cooks. A Texas native, he’ll be able to recruit the state incredibly well, with in-roads he’s made in Louisiana and across the Southeast also likely paying dividends for the Sooners. He’ll also be tasked with fixing a secondary that’s woefully underperformed, an achilles heel for an Oklahoma team that had lofty aspirations heading into 2014, but finished an astoundingly horrible 120th against the pass.

While the move isn’t likely to be finalized until after Signing Day, multiple reports had the Irish reaching out to recruits, with Kelly personally discussing the move with them. It appears the change won’t flip any recruits.

There is no timeline for finding Cooks replacement, though spring practice begins on March 2nd.



Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown elected into Pro Football Hall of Fame

Tim Brown of the University of Notre Dame

Former Notre Dame football standouts Jerome Bettis and Tim Brown were both elected in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night. Bettis played for the Irish from 1990-92 while Brown played in South Bend from 1984-87, winning the Heisman Trophy after his senior season.

The two were part of an eight-man group to be elected, joining former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau, Kansas City Chiefs guard Will Shields, and defensive end Charles Haley among the modern-era inductees.

Former Minnesota Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff was selected by the seniors committee and former NFL executives Bill Polian and Ron Wolf will be enshrined as well.

Both Bettis and Brown’s star turns began at the collegiate level. Before becoming some of the best players on Sundays, they did (most of ) their damage for head coach Lou Holtz.

Bettis was one of the best fullbacks in Notre Dame history. He scored 27 touchdowns during his three seasons in South Bend before becoming the 10th overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft.

Brown is Notre Dame’s last Heisman Trophy winner, and his career in South Bend ended with Brown holding 19 different school records. He was a two-time All-American who had 1,937 all-purpose yards in 1986 before ranking sixth in the country during his Heisman-winning season with 167.9 yards per game.

Bettis was in his fifth year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame. Brown was in his sixth.