Tag:Brian Kelly
Posted on: November 21, 2011 3:36 pm
 

"Significant" knee injury clouds Gray's stock

A right knee injury characterized by Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly as "significant" will almost certainly finish running back Jonas' Gray breakout senior campaign. The injury may, in fact, end his collegiate career.  

The injury occured during Saturday's win over Boston College. While results of the MRI have not yet been released, sources close to the Notre Dame program believe that Gray tore his MCL and perhaps other ligaments, as well.

The injury is a particularly sad one for Gray, as he'd finally become the productive runner he was hyped to be when signing with Notre Dame as a highly touted prep player.

Gray, 5-10 and 230 pounds, had rushed for 791 yards and a team-leading 12 touchdowns so far this season. He entered the campaign having rushed for just 309 combined yards over his first three years with the team and had started only one game (he rushed for 18 yards on nine carries in 2009 against Purdue) during that time. 

This year, however, Gray had appeared to have a new lease on life. Blessed with surprisingly quick feet and athleticism for a back of his size, Gray teamed with 6-0, 215 pound junior Cierre Wood to give the Irish their most formidable rushing attack in years.

Due to the fact that Gray has not used a redshirt during his collegiate career, he may elect to petition the NCAA for a medical hardship. Considering that the injury occurred so late in the season, however, the NCAA isn't likely to rule in his favor.

As such, the injury could force Gray to begin preparation for any chance at being drafted (or signed as a free agent) in the NFL earlier than he would have hoped.

Even with Gray's impressive senior campaign he is viewed by NFLDraftScout.com as a marginal prospect, at best. Gray is currently ranked as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 55 running back for the 2012 draft. As a point of reference, last year there were 31 running backs (including fullbacks) drafted.

Posted on: August 18, 2010 2:16 pm
 

Irish WR Floyd making new coach Kelly a believer

New Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly made waves yesterday with his candid first impressions of junior wideout Michael Floyd, considered by some to be among the country's very best wide receivers.

Said Kelly, "“I thought Michael Floyd was overhyped. I thought he was, at times, average.”

Asked to explain further, Kelly provided plenty of details.

"He wasn't a precision route runner," Kelly told the media, including Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune . "[Floyd] wasn't asked to be. He was a match-up guy. Bodied people, caught the ball — sometimes he did, sometimes he didn't. If you watched him, were evaluating him, you go, ‘OK, he's got a big body, he runs down the field. If they throw it up there, there's a good chance he's going to get it. You never saw him in positions to run the dig or drive, be one-on-one, beat coverage on a quick slant on fourth down and snap his hands. All those things that go to winning football games, I didn't see that. Maybe it's because they had Golden Tate, and he did all that for him. So my evaluation of Mike was based upon the film I had.”

While Floyd's film may not have made a favorable first impression on his head coach, his work ethic throughout spring and summer, on the other hand, certainly has.

"In 20 years, I have not had a player who has worked as hard as Michael Floyd has worked,” Kelly said. “And I mean that. He has out-worked everybody on the offensive side of the ball to the point where he has single-handedly set the bar for where everybody else needs to bring their play.

“When we've gone in the last couple of days, situational live if you will, he's been dominant. Believe me, I'm not easily impressed. ... Michael Floyd can do more. He's capable of doing a lot more. He's shown to me that he can be that guy that is a complete wide receiver.”

Floyd, 6-3, 220 pounds, was one of the nation's most dangerous big play threats under Charlie Weis. Though Floyd only played in seven games last year due to a broken collarbone suffered against Michigan State, when he was on the field, he was virtually unstoppable. Floyd posted 44 receptions for 795 yards (18.1 average) and nine touchdowns. He scored at least one touchdown in six of the seven games in which he played. The one game in which he didn't score a touchdown -- Pittsburgh -- Floyd caught 7 passes for 107 yards.

With quarterback Jimmy Clausen and fellow wideout Golden Tate having left early for the NFL, Kelly's comments could be aimed at lighting a fire under Floyd, who is expected to be the Irish's primary weapon on offense in 2010.
Posted on: January 29, 2010 9:30 pm
 

Gilyard admits to previous marijunana arrest

Mardy Gilyard is freely admitting to NFL scouts this week at the Senior Bowl the fact that he was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute while attending Flagler Palm Coast High School in Palm Coast, Florida, according to reports from NFL.com.

"Character’s a big issue, so I tell them straight-up," Gilyard was quoted as saying. “Everybody goes through mistakes, everybody has their downfalls, pretty much everyone has something that they’re not proud of.” Gilyard said. “And that’s one of the things I’m not proud of. So it’s pretty good (moving forward)."

Moving forward is something Gilyard has had to do before. He signed with Cincinnati as a highly touted athlete, but was dropped from the program due to academics. Without his scholarship, Gilyard was forced to pay back the school over $9,000. He was forced to sleep in his car and work odd jobs to earn the money to pay off the school, before being accepted back into the program by then-new head coach Brian Kelly.

While teams are certainly not going to like Gilyard's prior arrest, his proactive admission, rather than reactive acknowledgement of the past will help him prove to teams that he's learned from his mistakes.
Posted on: December 10, 2009 8:11 pm
 

If Kelly to be successful, he can't forget the D

If Brian Kelly -- or anyone else for that matter -- is to be successful at Notre Dame, he'll have to accomplish a feat that Bob Davie, Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis were never able to accomplish.

Win, of course, but also to rebuild a defense that has been sorely lacking in talent since the end of the Lou Holtz era.

Considering Notre Dame's natural recruiting advantages, many will be surprised to learn that the Irish haven't had a defensive player drafted in the first round in well over a decade. In fact, it was 1997 -- Davie's first year leading the Irish -- that the Jacksonville Jaguars selected defensive lineman Renaldo Wynn with the 21st pick of the draft. Since, there has been only one Notre Dame defender even drafted within the first 50 picks of any draft, and that was defensive tackle Trevor Laws to the Eagles two years ago... who went 47th overall.

During Lou Holtz's reign (1986-1996), on the other hand, there were 12 Fighting Irish defenders drafted within the first 50 picks...

I can understand why Notre Dame fired Charlie Weis. He simply didn't win enough games. However, the man was brought in due to his brilliance as an offensive coach. He helped turn Brady Quinn into a first round pick, recruited and will have successfully made Jimmy Clausen into a first round pick and has produced some talented skill position players around them in tight ends John Carlson (2008 2nd round pick to Seattle) and Anthony Fasano (2006 2nd round pick to Dallas) and wide receivers Maurice Stovall (2006 3rd round pick to Tampa Bay) and Golden Tate.

If Notre Dame is to return to its former glory -- a monumental task considering their high academic standards and tough annual schedule -- they can't just rely on the flashy offensive stars to get it done.

Congratulations to Brian Kelly on the new job. I wish you the best... (and by that I mean a pass rusher or shutdown cornerback or two...)


 
 
 
 
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