After an abysmal 2016 campaign that saw the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team win only four games, and have head coach Brian Kelly under fire from a number of outlets, Kelly announced Notre Dame’s leadership in the form of its captains for 2017.
Someone seems eager to get this season behind them.
Brian Kelly named seven captians for the 2017 season.
- Mike McGlinchey
- DeShone Kizer
- Greer Martini
- Drue Tranquill
- Nyles Morgan
- Quenton Nelson
- Austin Webster
Don’t know who Austin Webster is? You probably aren’t alone. Webster is a senior wide receiver, and a walk-on. And now, he’s the first walk-on to be named a captain since Mike Oriard (per mentions to a Pete Sampson tweet).
Austin Webster the first walk-on captain in the history of Notre Dame football. @WOPUnation, don’t forget to work some waters into tonight— Irish Illustrated (@PeteSampson_) December 10, 2016
So what does this all mean? Does this mean that DeShone Kizer will return next year? What’s the significance of the early announcement?
First and foremost, this does not mean that Kizer will be returning in 2017. Maybe it’s a bit of a carrot from Kelly with the stick being the draft grade that Kizer should be getting any day now. What is intriguing, is that during Brian Kelly’s time at Notre Dame, no Irish quarterback has been named as a captain. If Kizer were to return in 2017, it would mean there has been at least some change philosophically by Kelly.
At any rate, Kizer has yet to make a decision- so we sit and wait.
As far as the early announcement is concerned, it was no secret that Notre Dame lacked some leadership in 2016. This has been pointed out by those of us that cover the Irish, and Brian Kelly himself has alluded to that point himself. With a lot on the line for Notre Dame and Kelly in 2017, I’m sure he wants to get the offseason off to a good start with leadership in place.