Matt Cashore / Irishillustrated.com

O’Malley’s Monday Musings

Burned bridges, a remarkable student-athlete, when 1-for-17 is good enough, and Brian Kelly on who to watch in ‘16. All in this week’s edition.

1 – Rotating The No. 1 Jersey Each Week: Meh…

2 – Higher Learning: It’s remarkable how far Corey Robinson’s football star has fallen since a yellow flag negated his third touchdown in Tallahassee 20 months ago. Fortunately for the Notre Dame senior – and likely a large chunk of the future United State and beyond – that pales in comparison to how much he’s grown and will do hereafter.

3 – May the Bridges You Burn Light the Way? Speaking of Tallahassee, I was surprised at word last week that former Purdue defensive coordinator and ex Florida State linebackers coach/assistant head coach Greg Hudson, might join the Irish staff in an analyst role.

From a personnel standpoint, it’s a no-brainer – another qualified coach to aid the overall staff. From a personal standpoint, it’s surprising: Hudson was chief among the reasons former Irish defensive end Aaron Lynch did not attend Florida State and instead found his way – for one season – to South Bend.

Hudson, a Notre Dame alum, was the Seminoles chief recruiter of Lynch at the time.

4 – On the Rise: One of the more intriguing answers from Irish head coach Brian Kelly in our interview earlier this month was on the topic of expectations.

That is, whom among the unsung, less-discussed members of his roster did he expect to play a large role in 2016? (For the sake of reference, my question posed to Kelly offered the yeoman efforts of Chris Brown and Romeo Okwara last fall.)

“The guy this year that’s going to show for us is Jay Hayes,” said Kelly. “I think he’s going to make an impact for us defensively. He’s a piece of work (off the field). I like the way he’s going to impact our defense.

“From an offensive standpoint, the guy that has to step up for us in more than just return is probably CJ Sanders. I think he’s going to be a guy (fans) know about, but one with a more prominent role. Those two in particular.”

5 – Respite: My family and I are headed to a weeklong vacation in Southwestern Michigan this morning, so my only contributions to the site through Sunday will be part of our ongoing “A to Z” player profiles of the entire Irish roster – Max Redfield and Tyler Newsome.

Interesting dichotomy: a consensus 5-star prospect and a three-star afterthought – at present, the latter is the “sure-thing” NFL’er. Shows you what we know…

6 – It only takes one: In this case, literally.

Thanks to long-time friend and former site contributor Christian Zavisca for the statistic: “After last night’s Game 7 between Golden State and Cleveland was tied at 89, teams combined to go 1-for-17 from the field. Kyrie Irving’s game-winning three-pointer served as the one successful shot in that span.”

It was a compelling series. A series with remarkable individual moments highlighted by a highly entertaining, well-played Game 7.

Then human nature took over, and things got a little tight. And the players – the best in the world – did as well. Remember that next time you call out a college athlete for “choking” at a key moment.
 
7 – From the Kelly Files: Asked which former stars “surprised” him in terms of recruitment vs. their eventual evolution, Kelly offered: “I mean, I don’t think we had any thoughts that Will (Fuller) was going to be a first-round draft pick.

“I think when you look at defensive players, a guy that didn’t enough credit over four years was Matthias Farley. He was a (prep) soccer player. We took a swing at that. Then he was a wide receiver. I thought he did a great job (as a four-year defensive back contributor).

“But maybe at the end of the day, DeShone Kizer – I mean. After last spring, he was questioning whether he should be playing baseball. A year ago today, this conversation wasn’t possible.

“With all of them, we had to build their confidence, put them in the right position, and then they took off.”

8 – This Week’s Prediction: Redshirt-freshman Shaun Crawford will not only lead the defense in passes defended, but surpass the Kelly-Era high set by Cole Luke (11) in 2014 – Luke’s first season as a starter.

The program record is 13 set by Clarence Ellis in 1969. Luke’s total is tied for third-best with, among others, the great Luther Bradley.

Care to take a stab at who’s No. 2 with 12?

Until next week, Irish fans...


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