Excerpts from Notre Dame football Brian Kelly’s media teleconference on Tuesday morning:
On National Championship Game:
“On that day, Alabama was the winner by 28 points. And it’s our job to begin work on how to close that gap.”
“Three years ago we didn’t have one player on our roster who had beaten a top 25 team.”
On the NFL and the Eagles
Said Eagles interview was really a discussion with Jeff Lurie. “The discussion was more about intrigue on my part.”
Kelly said if he were to things differently, he would have come out with a statement sooner after the Eagles interview.
“My heart is with college football and Notre Dame.”
Kelly to team about Eagles interview:
“They wanted to know if I was going to be their coach. I am going to be their coach for a long time.”
On Manti Te’o story:
“Every little thing that has come out of the past couple of weeks is what he told me.”
On first reaction to learning of Kekua hoax:
“Let’s find out what the heck is going on here.”
On Te’o and his Irish legacy:
“He’ll be, in my eyes, one of the very great teammates I’ve ever had in 22 years of coaching.”
On if hoax affected Te’o’s play:
“Hindsight is 20/20. I didn’t think going into the game he was affected, but he didn’t play his best.”
On Jamoris Slaughter’s appeal:
“We just don’t have an answer at this point.” Hopeful to hear something before end of recruiting.
On ND player developments:
Bennett Jackson had surgery for labrum tear in shoulder. Dan Fox had a similar surgery and likely will not practice in spring.
Said “all indications” says safety Austin Collinsworth should be ready for spring practice.
Said center Matt Hegarty may be cleared soon, not confident that OT Tate Nichols can return and that CB Lo Wood is progressing “really well.”
Said Carlo Calabrese, Dan Fox, Jarrett Grace are the front runners for middle linebacker position this spring.
SID Brian Hardin leaving:
“I gotta tell you, he’s the best in the business. We’re certainly going to miss him.”