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Irish Insights

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Early look

With temperatures possibly rising into the high 80s and the chance of thunderstorms in South Bend possibly creating sticky conditions Saturday, Notre Dame fans may not have to wait too long to see members of the latest freshmen class.

Coach Brian Kelly told reporters after practice Thursday that substitutions could play a big role in the season opener against South Florida. And for the Irish, that could mean freshmen defensive ends Stephon Tuitt and Aaron Lynch along with others in the class getting on the field quickly.

"Some of those young guys have got to play early," Kelly said. "When it's a lot hotter, the Tuitts and the Lynches and (linebacker) Troy Niklases and the (running back George) Atkinsons and the (running back Cam McDaniels, all those kids, you're probably going to start seeing them in the first dozen plays. Maybe sooner.

"When the weather's like that, those young guys that have to gain experience, you're not going to wait too long to see them in the game."

Kelly also told reporters the Irish will enter the season opener healthy and have an unexpected player available. Backup left tackle Tate Nichols will be available in an emergency situation after recovering from a dislocated knee cap quicker than expected, Kelly said.

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