NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- When Brian Kelly was introduced as head football coach at Notre Dame in December, he worked Irish Nation into a foaming-at-the-mouth frenzy with a spirited news conference. On signing day, he tried to temper moonstruck expectations while celebrating a quality recruiting effort.
An abbreviated courtship with the nation's top prep talent yielded Kelly and Co. a 2010 class ranked 21st by ESPN.com. It was a solid first at-bat. But even the hubris-fueled Kelly humbly acknowledged it wasn't a home run. Fact is, this is exactly what he expected when he inherited a program in severe need of a spit-shine.
"You need time to recruit," Kelly said Wednesday. "You need success if you want to be able to continue to recruit the very best. Clearly, we did not have either one on our side this time. We will. So the proof of our work as a staff and ultimately how I'll be judged is going to be down the road with this class, but more importantly next year's class as well."