Notre Dame Football: Ryan Kavanagh

New helmets, same jerseys for Irish

October, 19, 2011
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Brian Kelly entered his meeting with reporters after practice Wednesday carrying a gold helmet, which he placed in front of his feet before fielding more than two minutes of questions about the Irish's wardrobe for the weekend.

The helmets, which Notre Dame will wear this Saturday against USC, are closer in color to that of the Golden Dome. The 23.9 carat golden dust from the Golden Dome will still be used in the helmets. And managers will no longer paint them.

"We finally got it right," Kelly said. "Jack [Swarbrick] and I have been frustrated with the color of the helmet and we got Ryan Grooms, our equipment manager who's worked diligently in getting this put together, and we felt that we finally got the gold the right way. It's not all of, it's not those different shades that we've seen over the years, so we're pretty excited about it. We'll wear those this weekend."

Kelly said he noticed the tints of the old helmets were changing ever-so slightly in his two years at Notre Dame, and he said he feels this model does a better job of maintaining the tradition of the Irish's uniforms.

"We've been frustrated with the helmet," Kelly said. "It just has never gotten to the right color. We want it to be the Golden Dome. I mean, that's the representation for me. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, but that's the gold that we were looking for. Still has the flake, the gold flake in it. The only difference is our managers won't paint these."

Kelly said the helmets were already tested under high-definition colors and should stand out even more under the lights this weekend.

He also said the Irish would wear their "traditional colors" this weekend, though his vagueness with those were consistent with the past two weeks, as he has dodged all jersey questions.

"Last I checked they were blue, white and gold," he said, before quickly adding, "and green."

Grooms, the team equipment manager, seemed to clear that up on Twitter, however, posting that Notre Dame would wear blue jerseys.

Notre Dame athletics' Facebook page has several photos of the new helmets, along with the old ones, here.

Notes: The helmets of Irish players will feature a green shamrock sticker featuring a black "X" for the rest of the season, in honor of late team intern Xavier Murphy, who lost his battle with leukemia Oct. 11. The team will hold a moment of silence before next week's game against Navy, as that would have been Murphy's 23rd birthday and is technically the first game after fall break, which Notre Dame students are currently on. Murphy's family is scheduled to attend the Oct. 29 game. ... Long-snapper Jordan Cowart (broken hand) is cleared to play, but Kelly said he is still competing with Ryan Kavanagh and Braxston Cave this week for snaps. ... Defensive end Ethan Johnson (ankle) is cleared to play but is not yet 100 percent. He won't play his normal 50-60 snaps Saturday.

Ethan Johnson out for Notre Dame

October, 8, 2011
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame will be without starting defensive end Ethan Johnson today, as the senior sprained his right ankle in last week's game at Purdue.

Johnson was wearing a big black boot on his right foot and was not in uniform when the Fighting Irish warmed up on the field. Freshman Aaron Lynch was taking first-team snaps and will likely start in his place.

Johnson was immobilized until Thursday of this week after suffering the injury, and Brian Kelly said then that he would be a game-time decision. Notre Dame has a bye week next Saturday, so that may have possibly played into a decision as well.

In other injury news, long-snapper Jordan Cowart, who broke his hand in a post-punt scuffle last week at Purdue, was in uniform but only watched as Braxston Cave short-snapped and Ryan Kavanagh long-snapped in warmups. Darius Fleming long-snapped a bit, too, and he will be Cave's backup if Cowart can't go, which looks like that may be the case.

The band is on the field and we're only minutes away from kickoff, so keep it right here for updates and analysis.

Brian Kelly radio show recap

October, 6, 2011
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame fans clamoring for a chance to see what the Fighting Irish's young quarterbacks can do may finally get their wish Saturday.

Brian Kelly said as much during his weekly radio show Thursday at Legends of Notre Dame.

"We're gonna employ a special package with somebody, but I'm not gonna tell you who," the head coach said. "It could be Everett Golson, it could be Andrew Hendrix."

The two signal callers have yet to take the field in their brief careers. Golson is a true freshman while Hendrix is in his second year after not playing in 2010.

Kelly said in his post-practice session with reporters that Golson played the role of Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson throughout the week.

Asked about his two young quarterbacks later in his radio show, Kelly said: "They have some outstanding skill sets but they really don't have the offense down. ... If we're gonna move in that direction you have to prepare them for everything. They just can't run the entire offense yet."

Here are some notes from Kelly's meeting with the media before he went on the air:
  • Defensive end Ethan Johnson (right ankle sprain) will be a game-time decision.
  • Long snapper Jordan Cowart, who broke his hand in a post-punt scuffle Saturday at Purdue, snapped Thursday but Kelly is still unsure if he will go. Braxston Cave would do short snaps if Cowart couldn't go. Ryan Kavanagh would do long snaps.


College Football Minute
Josh Shaw's story is in question, Auburn has a plan at quarterback for Week 1, and Notre Dame suspends three starters for the season opener. It's all ahead in the College Football Minute.


Friday, 8/29
Saturday, 8/30