SOUTH BEND – With spring football at Notre Dame winding down in just a few days, Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly should be concerned only with dividing the squads up for a competitive game, compiling a checklist of what he wants accomplished in Saturday's exhibition and, most importantly, praying that all of his players get through the final days healthy.
That became impossible with the advent of Twitter.
On Friday, Kelly announced that freshman defensive end Aaron Lynch was finished at Notre Dame and transferring to a program in his home state of Florida. Just a few days later, another Irish defender who hails from Florida sent the Irish Nation into a tizzy with his tweets.
Sophomore Louis Nix posted a pair of tweets that made Notre Dame followers curious as to his intentions. The first read “Hopping on the Delta and might never come back. #FLBoy,” which was posted Sunday. One day later Nix posted “Still at ND...blah.” Neither tweet leads one to believe that the noseguard is enamored with South Bend.
“The guys that are here (at Notre Dame), they understand how difficult it is,” Kelly said last week when addressing the Lynch situation. “The challenges that you have on a day-to-day basis… they signed up for that. That's why they are here. This is a place that has great challenges and I want to be part of that and our players do to.”
Nix didn't see action in his first season at Notre Dame (2010), but got in better physical condition and started 11 games last fall. With Lynch leaving, Kelly noted that a strong-performing Nix would be even more integral to the Irish defense.
“Louis is providing the consistency that he didn't provide earlier in the spring,” Kelly said. “He has had back-to-back really good practices (on Saturday and Monday), the way Louis can play. I was really happy to see that.”
Whether it be with Lynch, Nix or any other player who is recruited by Kelly and his coaching staff, the veteran coach said the message remains the same to potential Irish players about coming to Notre Dame: prepare to be challenged to a degree – on and off of the field – that you never fathomed.
“In recruiting, we are laying our cards on the table,” Kelly explained. “Here is who we are. We are not going to come in and say you don't have to have to live in the dorms. No, you've got to live in the dorms. We don't say it's easy in the classroom, don't worry about it. We don't say don't worry about it, it never snows here. The fact of the matter is when you are opened up like that then you have to be the same way within the program.”