Kelly talks class, fifth-year players

February, 5, 2014
Feb 5
2:20
PM CT
Brian Kelly spent the first 37 minutes of his national signing day press conference talking about the 23 players who signed with Notre Dame. Whether that will be it for the Irish remains to be seen.

"We're open to going beyond the 23," Kelly said Wednesday.

The answer will likely come at 4 ET, when ESPN four-star athlete John "JuJu" Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly) announces his college decision live on ESPNU.

Notre Dame currently stands at 84 scholarships, as it welcomed back 56 players from last season's team, 23 recruits from the 2014 class and, as Kelly said, five fifth-year players: Austin Collinsworth, Christian Lombard, Kendall Moore, Justin Utupo and Luke Massa, whose return had not been previously reported.

Kelly stressed the education process at Notre Dame more than usual, as he was dealing with three underclassmen who declared for the NFL draft early after the 2013 season.

He said he would have a serious problem recruiting a kid who said that his intentions were to stay for just three years.

"If they want to come here just to hang their hat to play football and go to the NFL, we passed on some pretty good players," he said.

Kelly, who gave an honest assessment of not casting a wide enough net on the defensive line, also made a pretty definitive statement that four-star offensive guard recruit Sam Mustipher (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) would be staying on the offensive line.

Matt Fortuna | email

College Football

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


TOP 25 SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 9/20
Thursday, 9/18
TOP PERFORMERS