7:46 AM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
Chris Hine / Chicago Tribune 17 hours ago

Notre Dame, Duke to square off twice next season

Notre Dame will face Duke twice during ACC play next season, with the Blue Devils joining Boston College, Georgia Tech and Clemson as the Irish's repeat opponents next season. 

Jaylon Smith welcomes bigger workload

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame wants to keep offenses guessing where Jaylon Smith will be. Opponents can rest assured, however, that he will be on the field for darn near every snap this fall. Smith, the dog-turned-will linebacker, found himself playing inside more toward the latter half of the Irish's spring season, part of an effort to broaden his presence and account for a lack of depth among the interior linebackers. So the former five-star prospect spent much of March and April getting acclimated with seeing the game from a different view.

Little clarity among crowded receivers

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- It was hard for Notre Dame to differentiate among its wide receivers throughout the spring. Just ask Mike Denbrock about any one of them -- in this case, Torii Hunter Jr. "He is absolutely physically very gifted, and right in the mix with all those young guys as far as what we feel like he can do potentially down the road," the Irish offensive coordinator said. "Like a lot of young guys, the more he sees things, the more he does things, the better he's going to be.

New spring, new spots for some on Irish D

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — This week marked the first unofficial "off" week for John Turner. The redshirt sophomore's workload essentially doubled this spring, with the former safety learning a new position as a linebacker, a chore that would have been complicated enough had Notre Dame's defense not been undergoing a massive face-lift under new coordinator Brian VanGorder. "After practice I usually go watch film with [outside linebackers] coach [Bob] Elliott, so I really haven't had any time off this spring," Turner said.

Starting O-line on ND camp agenda

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Few would blame Matt Hegarty had he hung his head entering this spring. The redshirt junior has had a roller-coaster ride at Notre Dame, from seeing the perfect regular season of 2012 cut short due to a series of mini-strokes to being thrust into role of starting center for the Fighting Irish's final two games last season. That the former guard was a more than capable fill-in in the middle is a testament to his versatility. That he stayed there with the first team for most of this spring is a testament to his attitude.

Notre Dame hoops adds G Farrell to Class of 2014

Matt Farrell, a guard from Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., signed his letter of intent with Notre Dame and will enroll at the school next fall. 

Notre Dame's Brey: No interest in Cal job

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Ever since the Final Four, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey has heard constant chatter connecting his name to the opening coaching vacancy at Cal, where Mike Montgomery retired after six seasons.

Notre Dame's Dan Fox opening eyes with NFL teams

Interest in linebacker has picked up after impressive 40 time at pro day When he was in third grade, former Notre Dame inside linebacker Dan Fox wrote a note to himself, laying out his goals for the future. His mom recently dug up the note and showed it to him.

Jaylon Smith adjusting to new role for Notre Dame

If there’s one thing that’s clear about Notre Dame’s defense in 2014, it is that as long as sophomore Jaylon Smith is upright, he will be on the field for almost every defensive snap.

Zaire's emergence a good step for ND

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Brian Kelly moved swiftly up to the post-game podium, joking with the assembled media members that everyone better hurry up so they could get back to watching The Masters. Kelly played the famed course at Augusta National last month as part of a foursome with Tom Brady, Josh McDaniels and Notre Dame alumnus Jimmy Dunne, who put the group together. Saturday's Blue-Gold spring game -- otherwise known as "Natural Grass: The Finale" -- could not have been further away from the Peach State.

Notre Dame Stadium to get artificial turf

Notre Dame will install artificial turf in Notre Dame Stadium in time for the 2014 season, replacing its traditional natural grass surface, the school announced Saturday. 

Irish spring game: What to watch

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Last year's spring game represented the last time quarterback Everett Golson set foot on the field at Notre Dame Stadium.

Notre Dame's Matthias Farley adjusting to cornerback

Former safety was surprised at first by switch but now says things are starting to click in new schemeSOUTH BEND, Ind. — After starting at safety for Notre Dame the last two seasons, Matthias Farley seemed fairly entrenched at the position.

Notre Dame mailblog

One more time before the spring game ... Derrick from Warsaw, Ill., writes: Matt, first off, thanks for doing such a great job covering the Irish! I always look forward to reading everything you write! My question is, with all the great options the Irish have at running back heading into the season, how do you see everything going at the running back position? Will one guy get the lion's share of the carries? Do they go with the hot hand? Or will each guy get a fairly equal share of touches?

All hands on deck, again, for punt returns

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Yes, Brian Kelly knows you've all been frustrated with Notre Dame's punt return game. Trust him, he's been every bit as frustrated as you have, and a Fighting Irish spring that opened on a minus-1-degree day back on March 3 has not given him ample opportunity to properly evaluate the unit. Getting outside for five recent practices has presented some clarity, but the fair-catch-only rule for Saturday's Blue-Gold game won't offer many surprises to the public.

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