SOUTH BEND, Ind.
Suspended Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson has submitted a request to be readmitted to Notre Dame.
Coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday he expects to learn in mid-December if Golson will be allowed to return. If he is admitted, Golson would be eligible to practice with the Irish for a bowl game but wouldn’t be eligible to play.
Golson, who led the Irish to the national title game last year, was suspended by the school for the fall semester for using what he called “poor judgment on a test.”
While the Irish wait to see if Golson returns, Kelly said the team is healthier, yet still banged up, after taking a rare week off from practice because of injuries.
“We’re like everybody else in college football at this point of the year. We’ve got guys that are just fighting through it right now,” he said.
The Irish held their first practice Monday since losing 28-21 at Pittsburgh on Nov. 9. It was the first time in Kelly’s coaching career he’s not held practice during an off week, saying he couldn’t afford to risk further injuries.
On Monday, he ran more than the usual number of 11-on-11 drills, with the starting offense going against the starting defense.
“I thought the legs were fresh. I felt we got, if there was any rust, we got the rust off the guys. We got them out there moving,” he said.
Kelly said he took the unusual step of practicing hard on Monday to make sure everybody was ready, saying he didn’t want the week off to disrupt this week’s practices.
“I really needed to know whether these guys could play,” he said.
Kelly said nobody on the two-deep chart is definitely out for Saturday when Notre Dame (7-3) faces BYU (7-3). The biggest improvement is along the defensive line, where the Irish likely would have been without four backups had there been a game last Saturday.
Kelly said Ishaq Williams is day-to-day with a knee injury, that he was pleased with the progress of Kona Schwenke (high ankle sprain), and that Jarron Jones and Issac Rochell (ankle sprains) also practiced.
Kelly said the coaches spent most of their time during the off week recruiting and focusing on BYU, saying they didn’t spend a lot of time on trying to make any major changes in what the Irish are doing.
One of the biggest challenges for the Irish is to make sure they have enough healthy players to go against BYU. The Cougars run an up-tempo offense, averaging nearly 87 plays a game. That compares to fewer than 65 plays a game for the Irish.
Kelly said it’s important for the Irish offense to get some first downs to help slow down BYU.