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Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Personnel updates heading into spring

By Matt Fortuna

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The walls of the Isban Auditorium inside Notre Dame's Guglielmino Athletic Complex are now decorated with motivational sayings and banners celebrating the Irish's past, something the program will honor this season, its 125th, with a special logo. Moments after the school official unveiled the logo, Brian Kelly took to the podium and unloaded a bag of one-liners before taking questions at his spring kickoff news conference.

"Jeff Jeffers will be able to tell you what the 25-year pin looks like; it's very similar to the 125," the head coach cracked, referring to the longtime local broadcaster.

"You can see we've made some improvements to the room -- there will be massage chairs starting tomorrow up front, so I'd get here early," Kelly added. "That's two warm-ups, how we doing now?"

Anthony Rabasa, Tate Nichols (shoulder surgeries) and Kapron Lewis-Moore (knee) are doing well, as all three have been cleared for the spring. Amir Carlisle (broken ankle) will miss the spring.

Chase Hounshell (also shoulder surgery) is ahead of schedule and will eventually be involved in some form of spring practice, though likely not at the same level as Rabasa and Nichols.

Braxston Cave (foot) and Cam Roberson (knee) are both less than 100 percent but will be involved in some spring drills, and Tony Springmann (discectomy) will be limited as well.

Lewis-Moore and Cave are two of the six fifth-year players who are back for the 2012 season, joining John Goodman, Mike Golic Jr., Jamoris Slaughter and Dan McCarthy, Kelly said Tuesday.

In other personnel moves, Troy Niklas has moved from outside linebacker to tight end, receiver Matthias Farley is now a safety and Cam McDaniel has moved from running back to cornerback, where the Irish were down to four scholarship players after the departure of Tee Shepard last week.

"There are specifics about Buckley and HIPAA and things of that nature that I really can't get into," Kelly said when asked about Shepard. "You know me -- I'd love to talk for 45 minutes on it, I'm just not allowed to. You know, from our standpoint we love Tee Shepard, and it's unfortunate but he's no longer with us, and we have to move on."