Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2021 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 15 of 47

16 MAY 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY LOU SOMOGYI W hen Blue & Gold Illustrated went to press April 6, five of the 15 allotted spring practices were in the books. That already quintupled the amount from 2020 when the CO- VID-19 pandemic resulted in only one such session. This year 's drills are scheduled to conclude May 1 in Notre Dame Stadium with the annual Blue-Gold Game at 12:30 p.m. ET that will be streamed exclusively on Peacock of NBCUniversal. Attendance for the Blue-Gold Game will be consistent with 2020 campus ticketing policies — only stu- dents, faculty, staff and families of participating student-athletes. Tail- gating will continue to be prohibited. Because practices are closed to the media, information has been limited mainly to what head coach Brian Kelly has shared through April 3. Here are some of the notable per- sonnel notes: Has the team been fully vac- cinated from the coronavirus? Medical documentation will re- main a private issue. "It is not mandatory, though we did outline the advantages," said Kelly, who has confirmed that he has received both shots. "Between April 10 and 15, our players will have the opportunity to get the first shot, and three weeks later have the opportu- nity to get the second shot." Which players are unable to play this spring because of health issues? Among the starters are 2020 All- American and junior safety Kyle Hamilton and center Jarrett Patter- son, who likely will be moving to another position as a senior. Hamilton had ankle issues much of last year, starting with the opener against Duke, and underwent offsea- son surgery. "He's doing extra work with Coach [Chris] O'Leary and Coach [Marcus] Freeman to pick up our defense, but he's got some work to do and he knows it," Kelly said. "We've tried to put him in a leadership position as well. He has a SWAT team, so we're trying to utilize all the things he can give us right now." Patterson had foot surgery (Lis- franc) prior to the game at North Car- olina Nov. 27. He will not be available this spring while junior Zeke Correll, who started twice in 2020, takes over the snapping duties. Originally re- cruited as a left tackle, Patterson is projected for now to make the change while the Irish attempt to replace four starters along the offensive line. Junior quarterback Brendon Clark had his knee operated on prior to the College Football Playoff, thus shelv- ing him for the spring and preventing him from competing for the starting job with Wisconsin graduate trans- fer Jack Coan and sophomore Drew Pyne. Clark is expected to be able to participate by August training camp. "In terms of being able to get into the mix … it's going to be difficult for him to do that re l a t i v e t o t h e timetable," Kelly summarized. Rounding out the spring injury casualties on of- f e n s e i s s e n i o r w i d e r e c e i v e r Kevin Austin Jr., who last year was sidetracked by two foot surgeries. "It's probably unlikely we'll see Kevin Austin [this spring]," Kelly said. Junior guard Hunter Spears also has been hampered by past knee issues. Sidelined defensively are junior nose tackle Jacob Lacey, who battled a shoulder ailment last year, and se- nior rover Paul Moala, who tore his Achilles in the win versus Florida State Oct. 10. "There is a chance he can be in seven-on-seven [drills] and doing some things here in the latter half of spring ball," Kelly said of Moala. Have there been any position changes of note? Defensively, the main one has seen fifth-year senior defensive tackle My- ron Tagovailoa-Amosa taking reps at end on a unit that will fluctuate three- and four-man fronts (see pages 24-25). The offensive line is where a multi- tude of players are cross-training at a number of positions in order to find the five best individual and collec- tive options on a unit that needs to replace four starters. ✦ Fifth-year senior Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa has been working at defensive end this spring. PHOTO BY MIKE MILLER KENDALL ABDUR-RAHMAN ENTERS TRANSFER PORTAL Junior-to-be wide receiver/running back Kendall Abdur-Rahman announced via social media on April 2 that he has entered the transfer portal. Abdur-Rahman played in one game over his two seasons at Notre Dame, a 52-0 win over South Florida in 2020. He took a redshirt in 2019 and moved to running back from receiver in 2020 fall camp, but his game snaps came at receiver. He was listed as a receiver on the 2021 spring roster. The 6-0, 190-pound Abdur-Rahman came to Notre Dame as a three-star recruit in the 2019 class. The Edwardsville, Ill., native was a high school dual-threat quarterback and two-time all-state selection. He is the third member of Notre Dame's 2019 class to announce his plans to transfer. Cornerback Isaiah Ruth- erford (Arizona) left in January, and offensive lineman John Olmstead (Lafayette) departed last August. With his 2019 redshirt year and the free season of eligibility from the blanket 2020 COVID-19 waiver, Abdur-Rahman could still have four years of eligibility if the NCAA's one-time transfer without penalty rule passes as expected. — Patrick Engel A SPRING BACK After a disrupted 2020, Notre Dame is on pace to complete the full 15 spring practices this year

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