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* Brian Kelly confirmed that freshman safety Eilar Hardy, who was working with the starting special teams on Wednesday, will be sidelined with a knee injury incurred Thursday. Sophomore offensive tackle Tate Nichols won't be ready for the opener because of a dislocated knee cap, and 5th-year tight end Mike Ragone has been slowed a bit with a quadriceps strain.
* Among the five freshmen offensive linemen, right tackle Nick Martin has the most likely shot of seeing some action, partly because of Nichols injury.
* Andrew Nuss and Chris Watt are neck and neck at left guard, but one of the two will be like a "sixth starter" at guard. Center Mike Golic and sophomore tackle Christian Lombard are 7th and 8th as far as primed for action. Although converted sophomore DE Bruce Heggie is listed as the No. 3 center, Nuss actually would be the third center in an emergency, according to OL coach Ed Warinner.
* Freshman Troy Niklas, already a starter on special teams, was pegged as a DE, OT or TE in college, but he actually has been taking reps this August at the field linebacker slot on the outside, also known as "Dog" or drop backer, behind sophs Prince Shembo and Danny Spond.
* Regarding a comment made by Brian Kelly earlier in the week that DE Ethan Johnson hadn't squatted while at Notre Dame, Johnson said he did throughout his freshman year, but a tweak in his back led to him substituting leg presses in place of squats, which is common at a lot of schools and the pros. He said his real problem two years ago was he lost 20 pounds during the season.
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5 Time POTW & 2 Time WPOTW Winner
Sapp.Jason@synthes.com - https://twitter.com/Jason_Sapp
2 time POTW winner on some dates I can't remember from 2yrs ago at BNG,
POTW: 1/3/11- 1/9/11, 6/20/11-6/26/11
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