Blue and Gold Illustrated

April 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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www.BLUEANDGOLD.com APRIL 2017 15 THEY SAID IT "My ego does not need to be satiated in any shape or fashion. I want to win for Notre Dame. That's why I did this and made the tough decisions that I made. If I wanted to call the offense, I would've just kept those guys and said, 'Hey, move over I'm coaching.' I want to win for Notre Dame, and that's why I made these decisions." Head coach Brian Kelly (Sports Illustrated) "In an unusually candid interview, Kelly didn't just fall on the sword for the Irish's flop last season. He belly flopped on it, using some form of the word fail nine times and consistently pointing the finger back at himself. Antithetical to his red-faced and fiery sideline demeanor, Kelly underwent a thorough and deliber- ate overhaul of the program." — Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel "Our program has done a complete 180 in terms of the energy and attitude around this building. The changes that Coach Kelly has made, both in his approach and also the people he has brought into this building, have provided a spark that you can feel. Something good is building here. It's just the way that everybody comes to work. There is a life and an energy in here now that is just tremendous." — Senior left tackle Mike McGlinchey "Since coming into the Atlantic Coast Conference four years ago, Notre Dame has more than held its own as a football school in a tough basketball league. There was one box the Fighting Irish had not checked yet, and they did it at the best possible time. … The Fighting Irish were 0-5 against the Cavaliers (22-10) since entering the ACC, never breaking 66 points in the process. For once, Notre Dame's offense ran smoothly against Virginia's active defense, and the Irish even managed to push the pace some against the methodical Cavaliers." — Ralph Russo of the Associated Press following Notre Dame's 71-58 victory over Virginia in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals March 9, their first versus the Cavaliers in more than 30 years "Some once had him as the No. 1 pick in the draft, which was crazy, but I will admit I had him in round one at one point during this past season. All of that changed as I watched him more, and his accuracy and footwork were not pro level. Kizer was big and athletic coming out of high school but also very raw, which is why he was a four-star but didn't make our Rivals250. He was clearly a work in progress out of high school, sometimes throwing a perfect ball and other times wobbling it down the field. Accuracy was a big issue. He was a big boom-or-bust guy to us, and I can still see a lot of that at the NFL level." — Rivals national recruiting director Mike Farrell on DeShone Kizer's NFL Combine performance OF THE MONTH "I'm amongst a great group of guys that only care about one thing and that's 'Team'. One hell of a brotherhood we are building." Junior tight end Alizé Mack (Jones) (@AlizeMack97) on March 5 UNDER THE DOME BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED PO Box 2331 Durham, NC 27702 www.BlueGoldOnline.com 1-800-421-7751 DELIVERY LIMITED TO CONTINENTAL U.S. PLEASE ADD SALES TAX FOR ITEMS SHIPPING TO: (NC 7.5%, IN 7%, MI 6%) (Item #6622) GRILL MAT $49.95 + FREE S&H (Item #6620) SPORTULA SALE! $17.95 + $6.50 S&H (Reg. $24.95 + S&H) (Item #6621) CUSTOM GRILL COVERS Recycled, mold-resistant, breathable vinyl with drawstring bottom. Logo printed with UV-resistant ink. AVAILABLE IN 2 SIZES & 3 LOGOS: Small: 55" wide x 36" tall x 21" deep $51.95 + $15.00 S&H Large: 66" wide x 36" tall x 21" deep $54.95 + $15.00 S&H Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery. Grill covers are made to order and shipped direct from the manufacturer. circumstances, regardless of how much of an underdog I am." The Irish freshman said new strength and conditioning coach Matt Balis gave him his blessings to continue running track without com- promising his football obligations. "Coach Balis is really happy with the fact that I do this because he sees it as pushing myself into more competition, which is good," Pride said. "He always tells me it's incredible that I can do both, and I'm really happy that he's behind me. I also get a lot of encouragement from teammates. I do it for them." Pride's classmates at corner, Julian Love and Donte Vaughn, played 562 and 296 snaps, respectively, last year compared to Pride's 209 (including starts against Stanford and Miami). Pride was on a course to be red- shirted last year, but when head coach Brian Kelly turned his attention to the defense after a 1-3 start and the firing of coordinator Brian VanGorder, he couldn't help but notice Pride. "I was like, [Pride] is as good as the guys we go against week in and week out," Kelly said of his decision to scrap the redshirt idea with him. Known as the football team's fast- est player prompts its own competi- tion for Pride. "They always give me flak about it because they want to be known as the fastest, and they always want to compete with me," Pride said of his football brethren with a smile. "That's what keeps making me better." — Lou Somogyi

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