The nightmare outside the lines off-season that was Notre Dame's 2013 calendar year is expected to take a turn for the positive over the next 7-10 days with the likely return of senior wide receiver DaVaris Daniels.

Daniels, out for the spring semester due to poor grades, was expected to receive word on his reinstatement as early as yesterday (Thursday), with an announcement likely made public in the ensuing week.

Few around the program expect anything but a positive outcome, including head coach Brian Kelly.

"Let's just make the assumption that (reinstatement) happens, he'll be able to, I believe, fully acclimate back with his summer work," Kelly said Thursday at a charity event benefitting the Kelly Cares Foundation, the Lou Holtz Foundation, and Ara Parseghian's Medical Research Foundation.

"I don't think that there will be any question…that with the time that we'll have with him, in particular, face time, that we haven't had before…I have no questions that we'll be able to bring him back in without any problems."

The "face time" noted by Kelly is available because of a new NCAA rule that allows coaches eight hours of contact with players during summer school. (The eight hours are not extra, but can be exchanged for standard strength and conditioning training.)

Though Daniels' expected reinstatement is doubtless good news for the program, it's nonetheless disheartening that the senior, two-year starter remains lumped with those that need to be coddled through the summer. In brief, it's a list that includes players returning from injury, redshirt and incoming freshmen -- and Daniels.

Asked if Kelly believed Daniels' oft-referenced maturity issues were behind him, the 25-year coaching veteran cracked a smile. "I don't ever take for granted that those issues of maturity are behind any of our guys. I mean, it's going to be a work-in-progress for him. There's no question that Double D, he's a smart kid, that he knows that -- he's on the clock now, you know?

"He's got to walk the line, he's got to do things the right way. It's not just Notre Dame; it's his career, it's everything now. So I think he knows that all eyes are on him."

Daniels finished the 2013 season with career highs in receptions (49), receiving yards (745), while scoring his first seven career touchdowns. He dominated Temple and Purdue in September (a combined 11 receptions, four touchdowns, and 236 yards), but muddled through the next six games, managing just 15 receptions for 187 collectively against Michigan State, Oklahoma, Arizona State (a game in which he played well), USC, Air Force, and Navy.

He rebounded for the final three regular season contests, scoring a touchdown in each while accumulating 224 yards on 14 grabs.

Assuming reinstatement, Daniels elevates to the role of veteran leader -- or at least veteran. He's the only senior receiver on the squad with but one true junior, Chris Brown, and a host of redshirts, sophomores, and freshmen.

"You know it depends on how you look at that, right?" said Kelly when asked if a forced leadership mantle could aid Daniels' late development. "It's good and bad. I just really think he's got to be a man and step up and take care of his business. He's immensely talented. He's got to have his foot on the pedal all the time. And if he does, he's as good as anybody out there, that I've coached.

"But there's only so many times you can go to the whip. And this is proof-positive, right? Sooner or later you've got to do it. And I think this hopefully is that time where he (says), 'I've got to be cognizant of the fact that I've got a lot riding on this. I've got to be that guy every single down.' "

The Irish quarterbacks and passing game are counting on it. Top Stories