The team's 2014 passer is at the forefront of those occasional peaks ahead.
"I'm pleased that the University saw that he's deserving of another opportunity. We're excited that that has been extended to him, " said Kelly of formerly suspended quarterback Everett Golson. "
"We have to figure out if we have a scholarship available to him," Kelly joked. "I think we probably can find one."
Asked about Golson's physical appearance (Kelly saw Golson in Myrtle Beach, S.C., earlier this week), the head coach noted, "He's physically more mature, probably over 200 pounds. He looked great, quite frankly. Great physical condition. And I think mentally is really where I saw a young man that understands what he's coming back to.
"He even said, 'I know there's going to be a lot of people out there that are looking at me and not all of them are going to want to see me succeed.' So he knows what he's coming into.
"He has to come back, he has to assimilate, he has to get back into academics and to the community, and he has to get back to earning the job back."
Kelly added of those that would like to see Golson (suspended for the fall semester for academic transgressions) fail, "There's going to be a lot of noise surrounding Everett Golson…Unfortunately not everybody likes a good story. There'll be some cynics out there. I think we're going to have to support him but he's prepared to handle all those things."
Golson will be in New York on his own dime for a previously planned trip while Notre Dame is in Manhattan for the Pinstripe Bowl. He's expected to visit with the team during their stay.
Thereafter, he'll be expected to lead.
"I think it really depends on his actions. I think he's set up to lead by the way he handled the situation," said Kelly. "I think he's gotten a lot of respect from his teammates in the manner he handled himself. Took full accountability and responsibility for his actions. Didn't point a finger. He was a thumb-pointer when it came to this matter. Took it head on.
"And now it'll be strictly his actions. I think he'll be judged by how he acts and if he's truly the guy that we think he's going to be, he'll earn that respect by his actions."