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  1. Help wanted: All options being explored on punt returns

    Aug 8, 2011, 1:51 AM EST

    Getty Images - Jonathan Daniel

    Being ranked 101st in the nation is never a good thing. But that’s what the Irish got out of their punt return unit, the weakest special teams grouping under Mike Elston’s watch. Notre Dame failed to create anything in the return game, with Armando Allen’s 38-yard return in the season opener against Purdue the only…

  2. Five things we’ll learn: Kicking off 2011

    Aug 5, 2011, 3:23 PM EST

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    As Brian Kelly stepped to the podium this afternoon, it had been 217 days since he led the Notre Dame football team in a contest that mattered. Last we saw Kelly’s Fighting Irish, they were embarrassing a former rival in the Sun Bowl, jumping all over a wayward Miami Hurricane squad that was adrift after…

  3. Counting down the Irish: A closer look at the rankings

    Aug 4, 2011, 6:04 PM EST

    Brian Kelly - vs. Michigan

    This is the final installment of “Counting down the Irish,” our annual ranking of the Top 25 players on Notre Dame’s roster. Click here for our ratings of players 25-21,  20-16, 15-11, 10-6,  5-1, and analysis.  With Brian Kelly set to address the media on Friday to officially kick off the season, we are finally…

  4. Irish land DT Sheldon Day at DT

    Aug 4, 2011, 1:33 AM EST

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    For those worried that Brian Kelly was done recruiting defensive tackles after Notre Dame landed the gargantuan Louis Nix two cycles ago, your fears can be quelled. The Irish just landed one of the top interior defensive linemen in the country, keeping Indianapolis native Sheldon Day in state; a huge recruiting get for the Irish.…

  5. After four month purgatory, Floyd reinstated with Irish

    Aug 3, 2011, 11:24 AM EST

    Michael FloydA

    Less that two weeks after torching a gifted Miami Hurricanes secondary for two touchdowns and 109 yards, Michael Floyd made a decision that had many praising his maturity: he was returning to Notre Dame for his senior year, turning down the opportunity to be selected early in the NFL Draft. “I’m returning to Notre Dame…

  6. Counting down the Irish: Analyzing the top five

    Aug 2, 2011, 12:14 PM EST

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    This is the sixth installment of “Counting down the Irish,” our annual ranking of the Top 25 players on Notre Dame’s roster. Click here for our ratings of players 25-21,  20-16, 15-11, 10-6, and 5-1. The list is out. And thanks to our team of panelists, here’s the Top 25 players on the Notre Dame…

  7. Counting down the Irish: The top five

    Aug 1, 2011, 12:48 PM EST

    Michael Floyd 3

    This is the fifth installment of “Counting down the Irish,” our annual ranking of the Top 25 players on Notre Dame’s roster. Click here for our ratings of players 25-21,  20-16, 15-11, and 10-6.  It’s time to roll out our top five. As always, it’s been a fun exercise filled with different opinions, colorful comments,…

  8. Counting down the Irish: 10-6

    Jul 29, 2011, 2:55 AM EST

    Fleming

    This is the fourth installment of “Counting down the Irish,” our annual ranking of the Top 25 players on Notre Dame’s roster. Click here for our ratings of players 25-21,  20-16, and 15-11. We’re into our top ten. It’s time to start looking at the players that are going to drive the Irish either into…

  9. Reports: Prestwood transfer to Notre Dame complete

    Jul 28, 2011, 1:07 AM EST

    JordanPrestwood

    While the news originally broke back in the beginning of June, it’s been made official by various reports that blue-chip offensive tackle Jordan Prestwood has officially been cleared through admissions, completing his transfer to Notre Dame. Prestwood was one of the Irish’s top targets along the offensive line, and originally committed to Notre Dame, only…

  10. Counting down the Irish: 15-11

    Jul 27, 2011, 1:11 AM EST

    Kapron Lewis Moore

    This is the third installment of “Counting down the Irish,” our annual ranking of the Top 25 players on Notre Dame’s roster. Click here for our ratings of players 25-21 and 20-16.  After revealing ten players on our Top 25 list, we’ve named three-fifths of the presumed starting offensive line, a quarterback that went undefeated…

  11. Notre Dame and Navy make it a century, extend to 2026

    Jul 26, 2011, 2:33 PM EST

    Getty Images - Nick Laham

    In a statement released jointly through the Naval Academy’s athletic department, Notre Dame and Navy have agreed to extend their rivalry until 2026, the 100th year of the series. “Our institutional relationship with Notre Dame goes back decades,” said Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk. “Along with the vast mutual respect we share as two of…

  12. Smith, Stewart, Walls and Williams all find NFL homes

    Jul 26, 2011, 12:08 PM EST

    Getty Images - Jonathan Daniel

    After a much longer wait than anyone anticipated, four former Irish football players will have a chance to continue their careers in the NFL. Linebacker Brian Smith, guard Chris Stewart, cornerback Darrin Walls and nose tackle Ian Williams all agreed to rookie free agent contracts yesterday, the first day the NFL opened for business after…

  13. Counting down the Irish: 20-16

    Jul 25, 2011, 2:21 AM EST

    Prince Shembo, Sean Cwynar, Hafis Williams

    This is the second installment of “Counting down the Irish,” our annual ranking of the Top 25 players on Notre Dame’s roster. Click here for our ratings of players 25-21. If you’re looking for a grouping high on expectations, look no further than numbers 20-16 on our list. Youth is served with four true sophomores…

  14. Manti Te’o: Doing work

    Jul 22, 2011, 6:07 PM EST

    For a guy that’s getting heavy national acclaim this preseason, Manti Te’o has almost flown under the radar. (At least from a Notre Dame fan’s perspective.) As a true sophomore that was truly learning on the job, Te’o made plenty of eye-opening plays, flashing the potential that could have him taken in the NFL Draft’s…

  15. Counting down the Irish: 25-21

    Jul 21, 2011, 6:44 PM EST

    Carlo Calabrese

    As we kick off our 2011 Irish Top 25, let’s get some things out of the way quickly. This is just a list, not some objective evaluation process. Some guys I had ranked much higher than others. (It worked the other way as well.) Still, what you’ll find here is a pretty good composite projected…

  16. Counting down the Irish: The top 25 players on the roster

    Jul 21, 2011, 2:05 PM EST

    Harrison Smith

    As we did last offseason in preparation for fall camp, a group of guys that spend an unnatural amount of time thinking about Notre Dame football tried their best to rank the Irish roster heading into the 2010 season. It was a fun experiment, one that had some hits, some misses, but also reflected the…

  17. Night game at Big House will feature Big East refs

    Jul 20, 2011, 1:39 PM EST

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    There’s nothing more annoying than blaming the referees for a loss. But a few close finishes in the Notre Dame-Michigan series and some uneven breaks in the 2009 game had Irish fans taking a hard look at some controversial decisions by Big Ten referees. While they won’t turn around any past losses, Notre Dame athletic…

  18. What though the odds: ND beat USC despite field position

    Jul 19, 2011, 3:18 PM EST

    HughesWin

    Last season’s Irish victory over the Trojans will be remembered for many things — a rain-soaked evening, Robert Hughes’ power running, Ronald Johnson’s dropped pass, and the Irish defense’s gutsy performance. The 20-16 victory ended an eight-game losing streak for Notre Dame against Southern Cal, and while history will likely remember the Irish’s two-minute drill…

  19. Watch lists keep an eye on Irish standouts

    Jul 18, 2011, 1:30 PM EST

    Getty Images - Jonathan Daniel

    As the run up to the 2011 season continues, various postseason awards announced their preseason watch lists, a good starting point for spirited debate, if not a decent predictor as to who is going to win the award. Ten Irish players are named, with Manti Te’o and Michael Floyd leading the way with four and…

  20. Spond and Shembo: The year of the Dog (linebacker)

    Jul 15, 2011, 11:49 AM EST

    Prince Shembo, Sean Cwynar, Hafis Williams

    Think back to last summer. Notre Dame fans hypothesized what the Irish defense would look like as it shifted back to a 3-4 alignment.  One position Notre Dame fans felt fairly confident about was outside linebacker. On one side, Darius Fleming, one of the Irish’s top defenders, was going back to a position that fit…