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Notre Dame Football: Kizer making strides, Kmet receives award and more!

We’re officially in the dead of summer and football seems light years away, but we still some things to discuss.

NFL: Cleveland Browns-Minicamp Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Kizer gaining ground on Cody Kessler

NFL offseason workouts have been going on for a little over a month now and former Notre Dame quarterback seems to be finding his feet in the professional game. Earlier this week Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported that Kizer has beening “narrowing the gap” on Cody Kessler in the starting quarterback competition. Kizer has performed well enough where Browns head coach Hue Jackson gave him a few reps with the first team during last week’s minicamp. Kizer was drafted 52nd overall by Cleveland in April’s NFL Draft.

You May already know this, butNotre Dame football...and baseball is getting a good one

We all know about Cole Kmet’s exploits on the football field, but what some may not know is that he might be just as good on the diamond. A few weeks ago I wrote about Kmet leading his high school (St. Viator) to the Illinois State Championship. Well, he ended up capturing the state crown, as St. Viator beat Marian Catholic for the 3A State Title back on June 10th. On Monday, Kmet was honored for his efforts on the ball field as he was named Illinois Player of the Year by Prep Baseball Report. There was some loose talk of Kmet getting drafted in the Major League Baseball draft last week, but it ultimately did not happen. Kmet will play both football and baseball at Notre Dame.

The NBA Draft is tonight and V.J. Beachem hopes to hear his name called.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Princeton v Notre Dame Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Notre Dame basketball program had had well documented success on the hardwood over the past three seasons, and byproduct of that is they have had some success getting their players drafted. The Irish have had three players selected over the past two drafts. Only nine other programs can say the same.

Jerian Grant was drafted 19th overall to the New York Knicks in the 2015 NBA Draft, while Pat Connaughton was selected later in that same draft at 41st overall by the Portland Trail Blazers. Last year, Demetrius Jackson had hopes of being a late first rounder but ultimately fell to the Boston Celtics at 45th overall.

V.J. Beachem hopes to follow in their steps tonight when the NBA Draft tips off at 7pm ET. For much of the season Beachem was projected as a second rounder, but in DraftExpress.com’s latest mock draft Beachem’s name doesn’t even appear. We’ll have more on this as the night goes on, as well as a draft profile on Beachem.

It’s not just Western Kentucky football that is getting a Notre Dame flavor

Former ND offensive coordinator Mike Sanford landed the head coaching position at Western Kentucky back in December, and with him he took many staff members with Notre Dame ties. It seems that Western Kentucky basketball wanted to add a little Irish flair to their program too, as on Monday former guard Ben Hansbrough was hired as an assistant coach.

After transferring to Notre Dame from Mississippi State, Hansbrough went on to have an outstanding career for the Irish. As a fifth year senior he averaged 18.4 points and was named Big East Player of the Year and a second team All-American.

Since graduating from Notre Dame in 2011, Hansbrough spent time in the NBA, as well as Germany and Spain. Over the last two seasons he was part of the support staff at WKU.