Caught up in the commotion of DeShone Kizer’s commitment to the Irish was the news of how Kizer actually committed to Notre Dame. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound quarterback called to deliver the good news to Brian Kelly and the head coach wasn’t in South Bend, but actually in New England spending some time with Bill Belicheck and the Patriots staff.
Kizer broke the news of the Irish coach’s visit to New England when he discussed his commitment with Steve Wiltfong and the 247 Sports staff.
“Calling Coach Kelly, I was ecstatic. They were actually at the (New England) Patriots practice field. They were going over some offensive things there. It was great to hear a head coach as excited as I was when I went to pull the trigger. Funny story, I committed on speaker phone where Tom Brady and Tim Tebow were there to listen. I found it quite ironic because you get one of the best pro-style quarterbacks ever in the room next to one of the best dual-style quarterbacks to ever play the game there, and you’re talking to a coach who is the best coach in college football that can accommodate a pro-style and dual-threat guy.”
There’s plenty to dig into here. First off, Kelly’s chance pairing with Bill Belichick at the AT&T at Pebble Beach brought the Super Bowl winning head coach to South Bend for the ND Coaching Clinic and now brought the Irish offensive staff out for a few days with the Patriots brain trust.
While most thought Notre Dame’s connection to the Patriots ended when Charlie Weis was fired after the 2009 season, Kelly and offensive coordinator Chuck Martin both spent time with the Patriots staff, finding new ways to tweak the Irish offensive, now in need of an added twist with Everett Golson gone and Tommy Rees entrenched as the starter.
The Irish still have plenty in common with the Patriots. While Tyler Eifert is gone, the Irish still will utilize multiple tight ends, with Troy Niklas pairing with Ben Koyack and Alex Welch to give the Irish offense the opportunity to play both big at the line of scrimmage and also go over the top in the play action game, something that Rees might be optimal to exploit.
At this time of year, it’s good to see the brain exchange between the Irish staff and the Patriots, where one of the best organizations in the NFL can hopefully give a few tips to the coaches at Notre Dame.