It all started when the Irish got blasted in the BCS National Title game 42-14 against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Then riding on the coat tails of the Bama beat down was the Manti T’eo fake girlfriend controversy.
The Te’o nightmare was handled so badly by the university and Te’o that it made the national championship blowout look like a party on South Beach.
But before Brian Kelly could get his head back on straight for spring practice, sophomore wide receiver DaVonte Neal announced that he was transferring from Notre Dame. Neal was a 5-star recruit out of the state of Arizona in 2012. With Tyler Eifert off to the NFL, Kelly was counting on Neal to be a big play maker for the Irish this upcoming season.
Sadly, Neal would not be the last 5-star recruit to exit South Bend from the highly touted 2012 recruiting class. On March 19, Gunner Kiel, the can’t miss QB prospect out of Columbus East High School, decided to also transfer away from the golden dome.
Kiel knew that Kelly was in love with Everett Golson at quarterback and knew it would be hard to find his way on the field any time soon. But what really sealed the deal for Kiel’s transfer is the fact he couldn’t stand offensive coordinator quarterbacks Coach Chuck Martin. Kiel and Martin butted heads several times during practices during the 2012 season.
But none of these issues could come close to what happened on Saturday night. The Irish young dynamic play making QB was no longer enrolled in school. Reports came out saying it was due to academics.
So with Golson now out for the 2013 football season, it makes the Kiel transfer all that more painful for Kelly to deal with.
Now add on a rebuilt offensive line and a receiver corps with no play makers and the emergency alarm might be at an all- time high for Irish Nation this week.
So now Kelly will have to go back to his favorite wiping boy, 5th year senior Tommy Rees as his quarterback. Things could be worse than having Rees behind center. If not for Rees relieving Golson in three different games last year, the Irish would have never made it to Miami.
Notre Dame’s biggest issue going into the opener against Temple is who will Rees hand the ball to from the running back position.
WLS 890 Notre Dame Pre-Game show host Chet Coppock wonders the same thing. “Kelly is hardly dead with Rees at quarterback. I just wonder who’s going to run the football out of the backfield for Notre Dame,” said Coppock.
George Atkinson III has a lot of talent, but his smallish frame makes me wonder if he would be better suited as a slot receiver who can make big plays in space.
After Atkinson III names like Amir Carlisle, Cam McDaniel and Tyler Plantz fill out the depth chart, will any of those names scare the Michigan defense on Sept. 7th?
Right now, Irish nation is worried about whether Golson is going to come back and play for the fighting Irish in 2014. What they really should be worrying about is how their football team is going to score points in 2013.