SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame players will have a busy day today.
In preparation for the season opener against Navy at 9 a.m. Saturday in Dublin, Ireland, the Irish’s day will begin with a 5 a.m. wakeup call and practice at 6:15 a.m.
The players will then have their normal day of classes, followed by weight training at 2:30 p.m. After weight training, the team will bus to the airport and then fly to Ireland.
“It is going to be a long day for our players,” coach Brian Kelly said during his Tuesday news conference. “It’s purposeful in the sense that we want to get them up early and keep that moving through the entire day, so they sleep on the flight to Ireland.”
Kelly said the team will have a morning practice Thursday, and he hopes everybody will be adjusted to the time difference on Friday when the team holds its normal walk-through.
Kelly said tight end Tyler Eifert, a Bishop Dwenger graduate, left tackle Zack Martin, defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore and linebacker Manti Te’o are the perfect captains for the program.
“I think what comes with our captains is great representatives of our program,” Kelly said. “Not just vocal representatives in terms of media, when they say something in the locker room, they are going to be heard as well. They are also a great opportunity for me to have communication with our leaders.
“I think they just represent all the things that we want in our program, and we can put them and push them out front.”
The Irish will be using nearly every receiver they have to replace the production lost when Michael Floyd graduated and was taken in the first round of the NFL draft by Arizona.
John Goodman, a Bishop Dwenger graduate, Robby Toma and TJ Jones are listed as starters for Saturday’s opener, but Kelly said expect to see plenty of receivers throughout the game. DaVarius Daniels, Daniel Smith and Davonte’ Neal are listed as backups on the depth chart, and the Irish also have Chris Brown and Justin Ferguson waiting in the wings.
“You are going to need your media guide as it relates to the wide receiver position. They are all playing,” Kelly said. “All the (receivers) are evolving into specific roles, and they will have important roles within our offense. … They are all going to be involved in our game plan.”