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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, October 05, 2017 1:00 am

Notebook: Wimbush cleared for running

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

SOUTH BEND — Brandon Wimbush was not available to reporters Wednesday, but all signs point to Notre Dame's starting quarterback being ready for Saturday's road game against North Carolina.

Because the 21st-ranked Irish (4-1) are facing a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference, coach Brian Kelly spoke Wednesday on the ACC coaches' teleconference and provided a minor but encouraging update on Wimbush.

"He's cleared to run," Kelly said. "He's mentally ready to go. He'll move around, and I think we've got plenty of time to get him ready."

Kelly revealed the exact nature of Wimbush's foot injury -- a Grade 1 strain. Despite being limited in practice, the sophomore is fully preparing to play.

"Yeah, he was fully engaged in all of our game plan, meetings," Kelly said. "He was out on the field. We did some light throwing, some core exercises. We had him on the bike, and then he was part of the signaling of all the plays."

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said his defense is planning as if Wimbush will play. Fedora admitted he knows little about Irish backup quarterback Ian Book.

"Well, the only thing I do know (is) he's thrown the ball eight times," Fedora said. "I think he's run it about five times or so for about 40 yards. We don't know a whole lot about him and so therefore we'll prepare as if their starting quarterback is in there, and we'll have to adjust whatever we do, game plan, if he's not."

Homecoming: Backup defensive end Julian Okwara, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, said he hasn't had many people hitting him up for tickets.

"I hit them up for tickets," Okwara said. "I want them to come. I have a lot of friends that go to Chapel Hill. They might come. I am pretty sure they're on fall break, but I have a lot of friends that are coming for the tickets."

Okwara is the second member of his family to play for Notre Dame. His brother, Romeo, graduated in 2015.

Adams all good: Josh Adams has endured injuries throughout his time as Notre Dame's starting running back, but, on Wednesday, Adams reported nothing more than the normal wear and tear.

"Feeling pretty good," Adams said. "Allergies are acting up a little bit, so that's never too good, but took some vitamin C. Other than that, body is feeling very well. Of course, you've always got after-the-game bruises, so it's kind of normal."