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Kelly, ND for WEB

Irish coach talks NFL, Te'o and recruiting.
Posted on Jan. 29, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 29, 2013 at 11:40 a.m.

Excerpts from Notre Dame football Brian Kelly’s media teleconference on Tuesday morning:

On National Championship Game:

Ÿ “On that day, Alabama was the winner by 28 points. And it’s our job to begin work on how to close that gap.”

Ÿ “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

Ÿ Said Eagles interview was really a discussion with Jeff Lurie. “The discussion was more about intrigue on my part.”

Ÿ Kelly said if he were to things differently, he would have come out with a statement sooner after the Eagles interview.

Ÿ “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:

Ÿ Bennett Jackson had surgery for labrum tear in shoulder. Dan Fox had a similar surgery and likely will not practice in spring.

Ÿ Said “all indications” says safety Austin Collinsworth should be ready for spring practice.

Ÿ 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.”

Ÿ 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.”



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