Blue and Gold Illustrated

April 2014 Issue

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

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Page 39 of 119

BY LOU SOMOGYI N otre Dame's 2014 spring foot- ball calendar is one of the more unorthodox ones in its history. The early March 3 start was precipitated in part by the last day of classes (prior to final exams) being held April 30, and a late Easter week- end (April 18-20) this year. Thus, the Blue-Gold Game will be held at its earliest date ever on April 12. The Irish also held two practices — March 3 and March 5 — and then weren't scheduled for another until two weeks later (March 19) because spring semester break at Notre Dame was from March 8-16. Returning in good football shape once practice resumed March 19 was imperative to head coach Brian Kelly. "I'm okay with them leaving [on spring break]," Kelly said. "But they also know, we don't have a lot of guys [who can say], 'That's my position and nobody can beat me out.' Last year maybe we had it, and the year before." Only three players on the 2014 of- fense and defense started every game last year: offensive tackle Ronnie Stan- ley, cornerback KeiVarae Russell and outside linebacker Jaylon Smith, and none will even be a senior this season. "That's one of the things that you've got to do when you trust your team — that they understand how important it is for them to get some time away, but be ready to go when they come back, as well," Kelly said of a team that lost 11 mainstays on offense and defense from 2013. The defensive front seven took the biggest hit with the graduation of top HURRY UP … THEN WAIT Early spring drills have two-week break NUMBER CHANGES • Senior safety Eilar Hardy, who used to wear No. 4 his freshman year, is back to 4 from his No. 16. • Freshman wide receiver Will Fuller, No. 15 last year, will take the graduated TJ Jones' No. 7. • Freshman Doug Randolph, No. 19 last year, will take graduated Carlo Calabrese's No. 44 this year. That's the third straight year No. 19 was worn only one year by a player. Aaron Lynch (2011) and Davonte' Neal (2012) both trans- ferred. • Freshman offensive lineman Hunter Bivin was No. 57 last year, but will now don the gradu- ated Zack Martin's No. 70. Also, early enrollee wide receiver Justin Brent will don No. 11 while classmate and defen- sive end Andrew Trumbetti has been assigned No. 98. — Lou Somogyi

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