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Personnel issues

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly had plenty of news about his players when he talked to the media after Thursday's practice.

Freshman linebacker Justin Utupo's eligibility issues have been resolved, and the Lakewood (Calif.) High School product was cleared to practice and can play in games this season, Kelly said.

"I got to tell you the NCAA was incredible in a way," Kelly said. "Once they got the information, the way the streamlined this was really good.

"Our people here, our compliance officers, were outstanding in getting this done."

Kelly also had plenty of updates on injured players.

Linebacker Anthony McDonald, who hyperextended his right knee, is now questionable for the season opener against Purdue on Sept. 4.

"He's made great progress," Kelly said. "We are moving in a direction that we think we may have him in a backup capacity for Purdue."

But Kelly is still awaiting word on linebacker Steve Paskorz, who appeared to injure his knee Wednesday. Kelly said he was waiting for the results from an MRI exam that was done Thursday.

Tight end Kyle Rudolph, who as been limited since the start of practice by a hamstring injury, was taking more reps, Kelly said, and safety Dan McCarthy was also participating more in practice.

Kelly also said safety Jamoris Slaughter, who was held out of Wednesday's practice with a groin injury, is fine.

"We were just being cautious. He had a little bit of a groin. We just wanted to back off on him a little bit, just not to aggravate it," Kelly said. "Pretty good news for us on that front for us, other than not knowing about Paskorz at this point."

Kelly also pin-pointed a time for when he will make a decision on who will be the Irish's backup quarterback and how he will decide between Nate Montana and Tommy Rees to be the next guy in behind Dayne Crist.

"If Dayne Crist goes down in the third play of Purdue, who's going to help us win?" Kelly said. "That's really how we've gone about and tried to evaluate them. I'll have a decision on a No. 2 Monday. We are pretty close to making that decision."

Cornerback E.J. Banks will be on the scout team this year, and he will start working with the team Tuesday, Kelly said.

Banks had left the team during fall camp.

"We expect him to come and do a great job for us," Kelly said. "He cannot compete, and he is no longer on scholarship. He is paying his own way here at Notre Dame. He wanted to come back to Notre Dame, and he wanted to be on the team and he wanted to prove himself. He's going to get the opportunity to prove himself this year academically and on the football field."

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