Brian Kelly had only one wish two days after his 50th birthday.
"The plan is to make it as the head coach until 55," he joked on his weekly radio show.
How the college sports landscape looks by then is anyone's guess. Kelly fielded questions about the pros and cons of independence Thursday at Legends of Notre Dame. And on the same day Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said his conference was having no expansion discussions, Kelly touted the advantages of the Irish's independence, namely in their ability to recruit nationally.
"We don't run into Michigan in Brooklyn, N.Y. We don't see Ohio State on the West Coast," Kelly said.
Kelly also revealed another personnel nugget during the show, saying freshman kick returner George Atkinson III would see some time at running back Saturday against visiting Navy.
Notes: Earlier with reporters, Kelly said defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore underwent successful surgery Thursday on his medial collateral ligament. ... Kelly said defensive Ethan Johnson was favoring his sprained right ankle in practice but was hopeful that the adrenaline of game day would allow him to play Saturday. ... Asked about his team having to overcome adversity, Kelly said: “I think last year’s team overcame adversity. This year’s team needs to overcome itself. They gotta play better consistently. Adversity to me is a bigger picture. We had adversity last year. This year our guys need to just play better football.”