Quick-hitters: Notre Dame football head coach Brian Kelly on Navy preparation, walk-on Chase Ketterer, Logan Diggs
football Edit

Quick-hitters: Brian Kelly on Navy preparation, Chase Ketterer, Logan Diggs

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly discovered his future scout-team quarterback for triple option preparation by happenstance.

A couple years ago, Kelly went to watch his youngest son, Kenzel, play for South Bend Saint Joseph High School against neighboring New Carlisle (Ind.) New Prairie. His initial draw to New Prairie was an offensive lineman Notre Dame was evaluating.

New Prairie quarterback Chase Ketterer, though, made the lasting impression. It was a strong enough one for Kelly and Notre Dame to start recruiting him as a preferred walk-on.

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"Chase caught my eye," Kelly said. "I liked the way he competed and liked his athleticism. We’re always looking for that preferred walk-on quarterback who can help us in triple option. I thought he’d be a great fit. I brought him back to [director of player personnel] Dave Peloquin and went through the process there.

“Glad that night happened. I got a chance to see my son play and found our quarterback to help us with Navy. He helps in other areas as well. He’s a valuable member of our football team.”

Notre Dame resumes its series with Navy on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC) after a one-year hiatus due to scheduling changes brought on by COVID-19. Ketterer has been in the middle of the Irish's preparation for it as the scout-team quarterback.

Kelly met with reporters Thursday for the final time before the Irish play the Midshipmen. Here are some other topics he addressed.

On defensive communication vs. Navy

“It’ll be two people. It’ll be somebody on the back end – our safety starts and he will communicate out to the corners, and the middle linebacker will work the front. The fronts have to be set by the linebackers, but the coverages get set by the safeties. But those two generally do that anyway, so there won’t be that much of a departure from a communication standpoint this week.”

On adjusting to Navy

“There have been some quarterbacks in years past that have been superior in terms of their athletic ability. They have a really good quarterback this year. More than anything else, it’s the system itself you’re going against and how important it is to be so fundamentally sound. You have to win one-on-one matchups you don’t see the rest of the year.

“It’s really getting out of a comfort zone more than anything else. That’s difficult because you’re so used to getting into routines, and Navy gets you out of that routine.”

On RB Logan Diggs’ communication with the offensive line

“He’s quiet in some respects. One of the things he has a strong opinion on is what goes on in front of him. He makes his opinion heard. And he’s right. He has a good football IQ and he’s not afraid to talk to those guys in the right way. He does it the right way. They have a good relationship early in his time here.”

On freshman offensive tackle Blake Fisher’s recovery

“Fisher is active right now, doing lower body exercises. He’s moving around. He’s ahead of the curve relative to where this injury would normally be. Whether that puts him in a playoff or bowl game scenario is yet to be determined, but he has at least put himself in that consideration.”

Other injury updates

Kelly was asked to update the status of safety Kyle Hamilton (knee), linebacker Drew White (shoulder), defensive end Isaiah Foskey (shoulder) and wide receiver Braden Lenzy (concussion).

Hamilton did not play last week vs. North Carolina, while Lenzy left the game in the first quarter and did not return. White played through a shoulder injury, while Foskey briefly departed in the second half.

“Everybody is playing except for Hamilton," Kelly said. "All of them practiced yesterday. The only one who did not was Hamilton. He’s doing a nice job coaching though.”

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