(To all the loyal readers of the blog, the postings this weekend might be a little light, as I turned on my laptop yesterday to hear everything boot up correctly, but the screen decided to stay black. NOT. GOOD. The fine people of Apple are working on it, but as of now I’m sans computer and sans all my Irish-centric bookmarks, robbing me of few tidbits I was hoping to dazzle you with. Until I get a computer back, the weekend updates might be a little lighter than usual. Apologies in advance, and don’t worry the laptop and scoop with be back and better than new.)
* While more than a few people are bemoaning a tough recruiting defeat, Brian Kelly and staff trudged on in California, visiting one of the other four key recruits we mentioned, safety Dietrich Riley. According to IrishIllustrated.com, Riley was visited by defensive coordinator Bob “Baby Blue” Diaco, outside linebackers coach Kerry Cooks, tight ends coach and West Coast recruiter Mike Denbrock, and head coach Brian Kelly. The coaches met with Riley, his family, and his coaches after one of Riley’s high school basketball games.
“It went well,” Riley told Irish Illustrated. “I was impressed. He showed us some information on the graduation rates, which is 96-percent and makes all the other universities look poor.”
More interesting than graduation rates was Kelly’s potential plan for Riley — which wasn’t at safety, but possibly on the offensive side of the ball.
“He wants me at running back or wide receiver, but will give me the opportunity to be on defense,” Riley said. “He wants the ball in my hands.”
Riley has UCLA still at number one, with three others — Notre Dame, USC, and LSU — all trailing right behind. I credit Kelly for trying to tweak his pitch, knowing full well that giving Riley a chance to score touchdowns could be something that he really wanted. While Rick Neuheisel may be the man to beat here, Kelly at least played every hand he could.
* Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples had a nice article on Kelly’s work on the recruiting trail, pointing out the difference in recruiting philosophy between Kelly and his predecessor Charlie Weis.
As he stood on the field at Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium last April, Brian Kelly
explained his recruiting philosophy. At Grand Valley State, Central
Michigan and Cincinnati, Kelly had to zero in on the players the big
boys didn’t want. At one point in the conversation, these words passed
“I’m not comfortable with four-star guys,” Kelly said.
week, Kelly arrived at the American Football Coaches Association
convention wearing a tie festooned with a leprechaun pugilist. A pin
bearing the letters N and D gleamed proudly from Kelly’s lapel. The
conversation turned to his recruiting philosophy, prompting an obvious
question. Now that he’s the coach at Notre Dame, how does Kelly feel
about four-star (and five-star) recruits?
“I don’t really
know that my philosophy has changed relative to the process,” Kelly
said. “I can project because of my background. I think I’ll continue to
do that, so maybe I won’t be necessarily just about four- and five-star
guys. But as it relates to this year, right now, that’s who’s been
recruited. Those have been identified by the former staff, and I’m
really just trying to reel this one in.”