Thursday, October 26, 2017 1:40 am
Notebook: Coney thanks Irish for sticking with him
CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette
SOUTH BEND – Te'von Coney knows Notre Dame could have kicked him off the team after his arrest last year, which is why the junior linebacker expressed his gratitude to coach Brian Kelly and the program on Wednesday night.
In his first public comments since his August 2016 arrest on charges of misdemeanor possession of marijuana, Coney apologized and said he would like to put the incident behind him.
"I made a mistake and was able to accept the mistake I made," Coney said. "I embarrassed the university. I embarrassed my family and myself, as well. Coach talks a lot about traits, and being able to put that behind me, I was able to follow those traits that can help you become a better football player, better person and better student."
Coney served a suspension early last season and went on to start nine games. This year, Coney has only started two, but he leads the Irish in tackles and has two sacks, three quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
"I've seen improvement in my life on and off the field," Coney said. "Following the traits has made me a better man. I'm just grateful to be here. It's a privilege to get another opportunity to be here and to be able to follow the traits and do great things like I'm doing right now."
Martini ready: Because the Irish are preparing to face a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Kelly spoke Wednesday on the ACC coaches' teleconference and provided an update on starting outside linebacker Greer Martini, who sat out last week with a knee injury.
"Greer was able to practice yesterday, full contact," Kelly said. "He was involved in all of our team activities. He is a go. Looked good. Feel really good about him seamlessly working his way back right into where he was."
Also, second-string tailback Dexter Williams has battled a nagging ankle injury. The ankle still isn't 100 percent, Kelly said, but Williams "looks good" in practice after being held out of the past three games.
"I would say he could impact the game for us," Kelly said. "He's ready to play on Saturday."
Special meaning for Doeren: As a kid, North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren attended games at Notre Dame Stadium. He grew up near Kansas City, Missouri, but, in a Catholic family, no distance was too far. Three days from now, Doeren will coach a game in South Bend.
"I know what that place is like and (am) excited to have an opportunity to play there with the great team that we have against their team that's playing as good as they can play," Doeren said. "Growing up in the Midwest in a Catholic home and going to Catholic church and Catholic grade school, Catholic high school, obviously Notre Dame is something that is talked about a lot."