Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2014

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

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Page 52 of 113

cusing on his body positioning this spring. "It's pressure, but I like it. It's a compliment if you can be out there by yourself." Between Riggs' 26 starts at Florida and Russell's 26 at Notre Dame, Luke knows there's plenty of experience for which he needs to make up. "I've been told to approach it like it's the third spot, fourth spot," Luke said of eyeing a starting posi- tion. "You're just trying to work your way up. Never feel comfortable with where you're at." The reality of the situation, accord- ing to head coach Brian Kelly, is that Russell was ahead of the rest of the corners "by a good amount" this spring. "We just have to get Cole to play with a little bit more urgency some- times, but he's coming along and he's making progress every single day," Kelly said. "We've just got to keep working with him. … Really, at this point, he's doing exactly what we want him to do. We just need to con- tinue to push him because we've set a high bar with KeiVarae. Now he sees that and that's where we've got to get him to. "He's got incredible feet, fast feet, his quickness, size. He's got all the physical attributes. We're working on technique." When Luke arrived last fall, he and fellow freshman cornerback Devin Butler were immediately called upon, particularly in nickel and dime pack- ages. Luke said he feels much more comfortable now than at the start of fall camp. "I feel I'm a lot farther along than when I first got here," he said. "I un- Luke recorded 15 tackles and broke up two passes while seeing part-time duty as a true freshman in 2013. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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