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In his words: Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly

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Fighting Irish coach adds physicality to offense

Friday, February 8, 2013 - 2:29 pm

Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly brought in 24 recruits in the class of 2013 earlier this week. Here is what he had to say about the offensive skill position recruits:

GREG BRYANT (RB, 5-foot-11, 200 pounds, Delray Beach, FL)

Again, when we talk about a specific need within the program, the loss of Cierre Wood, Theo Riddick, Greg Bryant puts himself in a position to compete. What we really love about Greg is, again, a guy that has shown a proficiency of catching the football as well as running physically tackle to tackle. He's a guy that will and you guys saw this later in the year, the way Theo ran for us between the tackles. We think we get that kind of physical play with Greg Bryant. He's a well conditioned athlete. He's got great instincts in running the football, but he also we love the fact that he can catch the football, as well. Outstanding football player. His dad is a coach, coaches at the high school. We just love that kid that comes from a coach's family. He really understands the game.

WILLIAM FULLER (WR, 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Philadelphia)

William Fuller out of Roman Catholic in Philadelphia: It's nice to get back into the city of Philadelphia and Roman Catholic in particular. Again, when we talk about profile schools that really hit and understand Notre Dame, Roman Catholic is one of those institutions. He's also a young man that we believe that if there's a guy that flew under the radar a little bit, it was William Fuller. The thing that really clearly stands out is his ball skills. He can run and catch the football. Any time that we got a chance to observe him, he was running and catching, just terrific ball skills. We think as he develops physically, he also has that speed, that top end speed that can obviously impact football games. Excited about William.

MIKE HEUERMAN (TE, 6-foot-4, 225 pounds Naples, FL)

Mike Heuerman is also one of our mid-year enrollees. That tight end position as you know, we like to use it in multiple fashions, whether he's split out as a wide receiver or if he's in line blocking or moving him around, Mike fits that profile. He was an early commit to us. He was part of the interesting Irish Mob, if you will, this year, which was taking its own life form online and through Twitter and Facebook, and he was one of those guys recruiting other players in this class. And I think that's a great thing. That says a lot about what he feels about Notre Dame and the kind of kids he wants in the class, and Mike was active in that. But he's going to be a fine football player for us. He continues to develop at that position. We've got an outstanding one.

TORII HUNTER JR. (WR, 6-foot, 180 pounds, Prosper, TX)

Torii Hunter, Jr. You know, I think what stands out with Torii, first of all, is he comes from a great family, and you probably know his dad plays with the Tigers now, a long time Golden Glove winner for the Angels and the Twins. He comes from a great family and a committed family, and when I say committed, not only to his education but to being the very best. I'll give you an example: We were in Torii's home just about a week ago, and as many of you know, he suffered a leg injury, and he's already up moving around after two and a half weeks. The care and the commitment that he has, here's a guy that's only going to get better and physically develop. We think he's got that burst, if you will, that ability to take it and go from anywhere on the field. We think he's an inside guy that can really make a difference for us within our offensive structure and just a great family and a great young man.

JAMES ONWUALU (WR, 6-foot-1 1/2, 210 pounds Saint Paul, MN)

James Onwualu, another one of our mid year enrollees, part of the original Irish Mob. He, too, was instrumental in helping put together our class. He was always somebody that we could count on to make a call or be up for a recruiting visit. This is a very talented player, very talented. If you watch him work out I know Coach Longo has got our guys in there already really love his athletic ability. Versatile player, he's going to be on the offensive side of the ball, but if we ever got into a bind he certainly could play defense, as well. But great attitude, just high energy, first student to ever graduate early at Cretin Derham High School. That's pretty big for that school. Again, just another great fit for us.

COREY ROBINSON (WR, 6-foot-5, 190 pounds, San Antonio)

Corey Robinson out of San Antonio Christian: I think what really impressed us about Corey is that he's just beginning to blossom. He's just started to take hold in this game of football. As you know, the Robinson name, pretty familiar. His dad obviously is a great parent and mentor, but he also probably had a little basketball for his sons growing up, and I think that transition out of basketball and focusing on football has given him now this opportunity to continue to grow as a football player. So we think we've got a guy early on that has not even come close to tapping his potential. 6'5" plus receiver, and again, I love the fact that he's a guy that will come up and get the football. Strong hands, and he runs surprisingly at 6'5", 6'6", he runs very well. So we're really excited about Corey. He, too, is a mid year enrollee for us and doing quite well.

DURHAM SMYTHE (TE, 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, Belton, TX)

Durham Smythe out of Belton: Another tight end that we really believe fits the style of the offense that we run. He hasn't even tapped his potential at 6'5", 230, and he's 230 right now. He's going to be obviously a big, physical player for us but has the soft hands and the ability to get out and run routes. We're excited about Durham coming in later in the process, but getting a chance to meet his family and spending time, it's a great fit. Durham, he grew up as a Notre Dame fan. Obviously being close to Austin, Texas, they have a pretty large following in that area, but he had always been somebody that looked at Notre Dame carefully, and now given that opportunity, we were able to get him signed and here on campus. Durham Smythe will be another one of those tight ends that will really, really do well here.

MALIK ZAIRE (QB, 6-foot-1 1/2, 190 pounds, Kettering, OH)

Malik Zaire: Malik is an early enrollee, as well. I think what I loved about Malik is when he came up here last spring, he sat in our quarterback meeting room, and in that meeting room you've got some really good quarterbacks. When he left that meeting, he made it clear to me that this was the place he wanted to be. He loved the environment, he loved the coaching, he loved the opportunity to come in and run the offense, and that's looking at great competition and saying, I don't care about that, I'm going to come to Notre Dame because it's the right place for me academically, and it's the right place for me because I'm going to be the starter here at Notre Dame, and we love those kind of guys that have that attitude. Malik has obviously showed himself at that high level in camps that he went out and really excelled in. He can throw it, he can run it, he's got great versatility at the quarterback position, and he's a really, really smart kid.

TAREAN FOLSTON (RB, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, Cocoa, FL)

Folston had not yet signed his national letter of intent when coach Kelly met with the media this week, so he was not available to comment on the Florida runner. However, here is some information on Folston regarding his achievements:

Associated Press Florida Class 4A first-team all-state running back for 2012 . . . named offensive player of the year by Florida Today . . . rushed for 1,186 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2012 on Cocoa High School team in Cocoa, Fla., that advanced to Florida state semifinals . . . also caught eight passes for 85 yards and one TD and had four interceptions (one returned for a TD) as defensive back (and also punted) . . . returned two kickoffs for TDs in 2012 . . . helped Cocoa to wins over Clewiston (55-7) and Jones (35-7) in 2012 Florida Class 4A playoffs before loss to eventual state champion Washington in semifinal round . . . ranked 66th player nationally on ESPN 300 list . . . rated 119th on Rivals 250 list . . . ranked 122nd on 247Sports list of top 247 players . . . ranked 13th on list of running backs . . . ranked 198th overall and 24th among running backs on Scout 300 by . . . chosen for Under Armour All-America Game and intercepted one pass and broke up another and made one tackle while playing corner and safety in his team's 16-3 victory in St. Petersburg . . . played for coach John Wilkinson.

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of similar recruiting previews. Coming Saturday: Notre Dame offensive line recruits.