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Irish Insights

  • Irish get more watch list honors
    Three more Notre Dame players were named to watch lists.
  • Brindza on Lou Groza watch list
    Notre Dame's Kyle Brindza was named to the preseason watch list for the 2014 Lou Groza Award. The Lou Groza Award is given annually to the nation's best placekicker.
  • Two more Irish land on watch lists
    Notre Dame center Nick Martin was placed on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the nation's best player at that position.

Closer group

Senior defensive end John Ryan said this year's team has a different feel then the previous ones.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder, who is getting ready for his final home game, said the Irish are closer this year then at any time since he's been at Notre Dame.

"There were different cliques, almost," Ryan said of previous teams. "But this year, you can go anywhere. It's been really pleasant."

Ryan said coach Charlie Weis has stressed the team coming together more since the Irish went 3-9 in 2007, and he credited Weis and the captains for bringing the team closer this season.

"We've done different team things," Ryan said. "The captains the last two years, especially this year, have tried to incorporate doing team things. I think the captains this year have done a fantastic job of keeping the team together. And Coach Weis has emphasized a lot that he didn't want to see on offense and defense; he wanted to see a team."