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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 1:20 pm

Gilman's waiver for 2017 eligibility denied

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

If anyone hadn't done so already, cross off Alohi Gilman's name from Notre Dame's mix of players at safety.

A transfer from Navy, Gilman had appealed to the NCAA for a waiver to be immediately eligible to play for Notre Dame. On Tuesday, Irish coach Brian Kelly said the NCAA has ruled Gilman must wait until 2018.

The Irish could appeal that decision, but Kelly isn't sure they will.

Gilman received limited work in an Aug. 20 intrasquad scrimmage, indicating Kelly and his staff were not optimistic about the NCAA letting Gilman play in 2017. Turns out, they were right.

Here are some more items from Kelly's media conference previewing Saturday's season opener against Temple:

  • Kelly said tight end Alize Mack is fully recovered from a hamstring ailment that plagued him in training camp.
  • Of Kurt Hinish and Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive tackles who are top backups on Notre Dame's two-deep depth chart, Kelly said not to make too much of freshmen being in those roles. "We're not talking about 50 snaps," Kelly said.
  • Kelly said Temple will play Cover 1 and "keep you off balance." "They're not a bland defense," he said. "You go into an opener, you've got to be prepared for a little bit of everything."
  • Kelly said three running backs (Josh Adams, Dexter Williams and Tony Jones Jr.) will have a role in every game plan. "Each one of them has a different style," Kelly said. "Definitely play a guy that has the hot hand, but you're not going to play a guy that isn't 100 percent. You'll see a rotational basis."
  • Ideally, Kelly's defense is going to rotate, too. "Eleven guys playing 85 snaps is not the kind of defense we're about," he said.
  • At least to start the season, offensive coordinator Chip Long will be on the sideline on game days with defensive coordinator Mike Elko working from the press box. The only other assistant set to be in the press box is quarterbacks coach Tom Rees.
  • "This team is as prepared as any I've coached from the mental perspective," Kelly said. "I've taken a lot of time working on that this year." The coach insisted his players should hit the field Saturday with a mindset to have fun and not feel the pressure of representing Notre Dame.
  • New starting quarterback Brandon Wimbush's best trait in Kelly's eyes might be how he handles adversity. "If he makes a mistake, he fights through it," Kelly said.