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Irish Insights


In other Notre Dame position news ...

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly didn't stop at naming quarterback Everett Golson a starter on Thursday.

Kelly also named a replacement for Lo Wood, who will miss the season with an Achilles injury, at cornerback, nailed down his offensive line rotation and named return men for punts and kickoffs.

Kelly said freshman KeiVarae Russell will start opposite Bennett Jackson at cornerback when the season starts against Navy on Sept. 1 in Dublin, Ireland.

Russell, who came to Notre Dame as a running back, beat out sophomores Josh Atkinson and Jalen Brown and fellow freshman Elijah Shumate for the starting job. Cam McDaniel is also listed as a cornerback, but he is also working at running back for the Irish.

"There is always a kid or two in a class, this is my 25th year in college, and there is always a couple of kids, they have it," Kelly said of Russell starting at cornerback. "He is a great kid. He is so confident in his ability. He is extremely athletic. He's picked it up so quickly. He's still got a long way to go, but he is a kid who has picked it up quickly."

Kelly also went through his planned rotation behind the starters on the offensive line.

He said Nick Martin will be the first tackle in, Conner Hanratty is the first guard off the bench and Mike Golic Jr., who will likely start at right guard, will be the backup center behind starter Braxston Cave.

Kelly completed his position announcements with punt and kickoff returns. He said freshman Davonte' Neal will return punts, and George Atkinson III will return kickoffs for a second year in a row.