The growth of Notre Dame’s youngest talent was a hot topic during Thursday’s press conference. Coach Kelly addressed the development of freshman wide receiver Jordan Johnson. The coach acknowledged while Johnson’s transition to college has been challenging, he has seen progress in Johnson.
Kelly said, “Jordan is an X receiver. Down the road, could he play W? Certainly. He’s not physically at a position where he can excel at that position. We’d rather have him at a position where he can get more free releases. The W receiver gets a lot more press coverage. As a younger player, you prefer much more free access. He will begin his entry into our two-deep and rotation as an X receiver.”
The coach went on to address his confidence in freshman running back Chris Tyree and said, “His numbers, physical numbers in terms of volume load, in the weight room, GPS numbers don’t point toward a freshman. They point toward somebody who has a much higher level of conditioning and work volume. It’s not surprising he has handled it quite well. These were important questions for us as we were going into camp. Do we have a true freshman is going to hit the wall five or six games into it, or do we have a guy who we really believe is going to be here the whole year?”
Kelly explained Tyree’s progress has been more visible on the practice field than in gameplay, and that fans can expect Tyree to take on a more significant workload.
The coach gave a shout out to senior linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and said, “Jeremiah, where we saw him begin to take that next step was against Georgia. When the caliber of play stepped up, he stepped up to a level where we saw him stand out against the top-performing teams. He brings his best against the best, and I think that’s how you measure great players.”
The coach confirmed wide receiver Braden Lenzy will not play against the Yellow Jackets. It is possible Lenzy could be out for as much as four weeks. Kelly said, “Braden had PRP (platelet-rich plasma), and that’s a Grade 2 injury when we procedure.” Coach Kelly went on to explain the issue typically requires between two and four weeks for complete recovery.
However, Kelly did confirm the team has seen no new COVID-19 cases after testing on Sunday and Tuesday.
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