Brian Kelly pleased with Notre Dame RBs’ play
By LaMond Pope email@example.com/@lamondpope April 20, 2013 10:50PM
Updated: May 22, 2013 7:13AM
SOUTH BEND — Cam McDaniel reached out and made a one-handed catch. He then eluded a couple would-be tacklers on the way to a 25-yard gain.
A couple of possessions later, George Atkinson III hit the hole hard on consecutive plays for gains of 17 and 5 yards.
Both running backs made the most of their opportunities to impress at Saturday’s Blue-Gold Game. Atkinson had 49 yards on 10 carries. McDaniel had 8 yards on six carries. He also caught two passes for 31 yards.
“I thought they played and competed,” coach Brian Kelly said. “George, you can see, is a big, physical kid. I mean, he ran hard, he’s got obviously some speed; we have seen that. We’ve just got to get his pads down a little bit.
“…. Cam made a great catch coming out of the backfield on a third down situation and I thought he ran the ball effectively. Those are two really good backs for us.”
Another back, Will Mahone, had two catches for 40 yards. He rushed for 11 yards on eight carries.
“Will made a nice catch on a seam throw that he’s got to make,” Kelly said. “I thought that was a positive for him and he’s got to continue to develop.”
Filling the hole: Jarrett Grace, who is possibly in line to fill the linebacker spot vacated by Manti Te’o, finished tied with a team-high eight tackles.
“When we are in the meeting room, when we are on the field, none of that matters,” Grace said. “I’m listening to (defensive coordinator) coach (Bob) Diaco, I’m listening to coach Kelly. Those are the guys I need to please. I don’t need to worry about anything else. I need to come into my own and keep working. As far as that pressure, I don’t feel it. I’m just having fun.”
Health report: The Irish came out of the spring game healthy. Offensive lineman Chris Watt did not play as a precaution.
“I guess he slept wrong on his neck and was a little bit sore, so we kept him out,” Kelly said.