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Irish Insights

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Kelly on recruiting class

When Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly talked about his first recruiting class, he was has honest as a head coach could be.

While Kelly praised the 23 players who signed with the Irish on Wednesday, he also pointed out that this class was just the beginning for him and his staff in re-establishing Notre Dame as an elite power.

Kelly said the class of 2010 was a good start, but he also talked about the future of recruiting and how important it will be to the program.

He said calls and offers were being made for the class of 2011.

"You need time to recruit," Kelly said. "You need success if you want to be able to continue to recruit the very best. Clearly we did not have either one on our side this time. We will."

But just because Kelly was already talking about next year's class, that doesn't mean that this year's talent is already an afterthought.

Kelly said each player was brought in with the purpose of making Notre Dame better and with the challenge to be like the 1946 Irish recruiting class that never lost a game.

Here is a look at what he said about each player during his news conference Wednesday:

Players already enrolled

Chris Badger, DB: He can play the ball in air and play physical. Athletic ability to take it in.

Spencer Boyd, DB: Athletic ability and speed at cornerback position. Like ability to tackle open field. Also play the ball. Sure tackler. Possesses ball skills.

Tai-ler Jones, WR: Extremely skilled. With the ball in his hands as explosive player in the country. Developed short period time here, already added 10 pounds.

Tommy Rees, QB: Precision passer. Worked out of shotgun. Gets ball out of hand quickly. Good athlete. Strong arm and can make the throws. Opportunity to play a lot this spring.

Lo Wood, DB: Very physical player. Good size. He comes up and will compete for every ball thrown. Excellent ball skills. Already gotten stronger in offseason conditioning program.

Players signed Wednesday

Austin Collinsworth, Athlete: Great hips. Great acceleration. Loves to play the game Young man who will be able to compete immediately. Can help us in a number of different areas.

Bruce Heggie, DL: Great versatility for us. He's 6-4, 240 pounds. Very good student. Very productive. Had eye on at Cincinnati. Worked out numbers in our favor on defensive line felt guy could do a number of things for us with his size. He's going to be a big, rangy player for us. Could play on offensive line. Could play some defensive tackle for us

Andrew Hendrix, QB: Quick release. He's got a very strong arm. What stands out about Andrew is that he has only been a starter for a year and half. Best football clearly in front of him. Really gifted player. Got all the tools need to excel.

Bennett Jackson, WR: Play a number of positions for us. Ability to catch and run. Attractive about him is his ability to catch football but also to catch in traffic and find way to make plays. What kept bringing us back to Bennett was his ability for yards after the catch.

Matt James, OL: Received lot of attention past six hours. Young man torn between Notre Dame and Ohio State. Opportunity to play earlier. Ability to move his feet makes him one of top players in he country. Great feet. Strong, physical, loves to play the game. Can play guard as well.

Christian Lombard, OL: Another premier offensive lineman. Athletic ability, ability to recover to stay with the play. Very competitive young man. Incredible upside for us.

Luke Massa, QB: Recruited at Cincinnati. Decided want to look at Notre Dame, we obliged him. Led very good football team for three years as starter. Smart, discipline. Great feet. He's going to make good decisions play in and play out. Ability to move and find receivers in tight coverage

Kendall Moore, LB: Can play a couple of different positions. Big and physical. Looked at as tight end as well. Compliment defensive structure.

Tate Nichols, OL: Great student. Kind of guys we like. Good feet. He finishes. Like guy this size, finishes every block. Wide receiver skills, he's tall – that's about it.

Louis Nix, DL: Gives us some size in the middle. Hopefully 315 pounds (as he is listed) when he gets here. Real asset and somebody who can compete right away.

Derek Roback, Athlete: Pure athlete. Play a number of different positions. Think he can play three or four positions. Good size. Very good speed. Guy who does a little bit of everything for his football team.

Cameron Roberson, RB: Really impressed us. Sights set on Cameron Roberson. Felt as staff he fit precisely what we wanted to do as an offense. Three coaches went up to California make sure we would keep Cameron Roberson. Sigh of relief you got him. Lineup as an I-back. Explosive. Second-level speed. He can take tall sweep, cutback, he has great vision, ability to make you miss. Can pickup (linebackers) off the edge. He can catch the ball out of the backfield.

Kona Schwenke, DL: Came on us late. We needed a 6-4, 227-pounds outside guy who can come off the edge. Schwenke gives us that. Very important get for us.

Prince Shembo, LB: He can come off the ball. Like the way he explodes. Had to re-recruit. Another guy that can play a few different positions for us, whether it be inside or outside.

Daniel Smith, WR: Extremely athletic. Love size at 6-4, 217 pounds. Lot of possibilities and opportunities for Daniel

Danny Spond, Athlete: Young man can play a number of different positions. Very athletic. Can play safety, outside linebacker.

Justin Utupo, LB: Arrives at the ball with a bad attitude. Plays with a great passion. Breathe a lot of energy and passion into our defense. Plays with a lot of fire

Alex Welch, TE: Ability to get underneath coverage. Very skilled player. Tough. Great competitor. Savy as a tight end. Very difficult to defend. Has the size.

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