Irish begin spring practice, bring new energy
When Notre Dame ended its season last year at USC, Head Coach Brian Kelly preached change.
A lot of that included coaching personnel changes. But more importantly, how the program was run on a daily basis, and the changes he's made have players buzzing about something special being built.
"It's a complete 180 to the feel we've had in years past." Mike McGlinchey said.
Practice may have began Wednesday morning but the Irish have been working for the last eight weeks in the weight room. New Strength and Conditioning Coach Matt Balis completely took an overhaul on the strength and conditioning program and the results showed on day one.
"Totally different, so much more intense, these eight weeks have been you know our first workout was harder than any workout I've had in my three years here," Greer Martini said.
"We haven't done 24 periods in a while and today it only felt like we did 18 and it shows how hard we're working in the weight room," Josh Adams said.
But more importantly, Kelly said Tuesday that he's been a lot more involved with his team, such as showing up to their 5:45 am workouts and that's caught his players attention.
"Whether guys notice it or not, it plays a big part in how we're building our team and in the direction we want to go so I feel like it's great especially with the guys in the locker room can definitely see a change," Adams said.
A new crop of assistants and a new Kelly have the Irish buzzing about a brighter future.
"The changes that Coach Kelly has made both in his approach and then the people that he's brought in this building have provided a spark that you can kind of feel something good is building here," McGlinchey said.
Wednesday also marked the start of the Brandon Wimbush era. The redshirt sophomore has the tools to be the next great signal caller to wear the blue and gold but Kelly stressed Wednesday he needs to understand the impact of being the starting quarterback at Notre Dame, and no better person to learn from than new quarterbacks coach Tommy Rees. I hear he knows a thing or two about quarterbacking at Notre Dame.
"He can relate to the young quarterbacks under his tutelage. You know could we have found with a deeper resume? Yeah but they would've not understood Notre Dame, they would've not understood playing as a freshman, they would not have had all the intangibles that Tommy has that he can bring to this position," Kelly said.
The Irish will practice once more before going on spring break and then will pick things back up on Wednesday March 22nd.