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Kelly: Summer workouts will help players get ahead

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 10, 2014 at 6:47 pm •  Published: June 10, 2014

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly hopes new NCAA rules allowing coaches to work with players over the summer will help players get ahead for the fall, especially freshmen.

"We're installing our offense and defense again," Kelly said Tuesday evening. "We'll install our core offensive plays, our core defensive structure. We'll get our guys running and doing football related drill work without footballs, bags and blocking sleds and we get in front of them. That's something we've never been able to do in June."

Coaches are allowed to work up to eight hours a week with the players, but it comes from the time normally allotted to work with the strength and conditioning coach. Kelly said the only player unable to take part in the first workouts Tuesday was linebacker Jarrett Grace, who had surgery in March to insert a rod to into his right leg that was broken in four places in a victory over Arizona State on Oct. 5.

Grace was on a stationary bike during practice Tuesday, but Kelly said the coaches plan on being aggressive with him and hope to have him play against Rice on Aug. 30. Kelly said it's too early to say if Grace can compete to regain his starting job by the opener, but said Grace is in good spirits.

"I think it's the best I've seen him mentally. He was in a tough spot there for a little bit before the surgery," he said.

Kelly also got his first look at receiver DaVaris Daniels in action since he was reinstated to school after being suspended for the spring semester for an unspecified academic violation. Daniels, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining, was second on the team last season with 49 catches for 745 yards.

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