In case you thought an award watch list would provide some clarity on Notre Dame's quarterback battle...well, it didn't.
Still, as award watch list season rounds into full swing during college football’s summer doldrums, something relatively interesting happened, at least when viewed from a Notre Dame perspective.
Both Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer were named to the 90-player watch list of the Maxwell Award on Tuesday, which is given annually to college football’s best player (Manti Te’o, in 2012, is the last Notre Dame player to win it). This isn’t necessarily a new thing — last year, Ohio State quarterbacks J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones were named to the watch list — but it’s a pretty good reminder that, with a month until preseason camp starts, there isn’t much clarity as to who will start when Notre Dame opens the 2016 season against Texas in early September.
Maybe there’s a frontrunner to start — Kizer, based on his solid 2015 season and greater experience, is more likely to be that guy — and maybe there’s not. And the wide net cast by these preseason award watch lists isn’t particularly revealing.
What often is more revealing are the betting markets. But the sports betting website Bovada.com has both Kizer and Zaire with equal odds to win the Heisman Trophy (+2800), which are better than, among others, Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya and Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs.
As more bread crumbs get dropped in August leading up to the decision, maybe the betting markets will change. But for now, the question that’s on everyone’s mind still doesn’t — and won’t for weeks — have an answer.
The Navy-Notre Dame football game that was set to be played in Ireland has been relocated to the United States, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Notre Dame announced on Tuesday that the game which was originally going to take place in Dublin on Aug. 29 will “likely” be played over Labor Day weekend, either on Saturday or Sunday.
The teams plan on playing at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, which will be a first in the 94-year rivalry history. Every previous matchup hosted by Navy has been played at a neutral site.
“We are obviously disappointed not to be traveling to Ireland this August,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. “But, as expected, our priority must be ensuring the health and safety of all involved.
“I am expecting that we will still be able to play Notre Dame as our season opener, but there is still much to be determined by health officials and those that govern college football at large.”
Jack Swarbrick, Vice President of Notre Dame, and James E. Rorh, Director of Athletics at Notre made a joint statement as well.
“Our student-athletes have had great experiences competing in Ireland and are very disappointed not to be returning to Dublin in 2020,” they said. “The change of venue has been a very difficult decision for our colleagues at the Naval Academy, but we are in full support of their choice. We are also grateful for everything our partners in Ireland have done to make this a smooth transition. We look forward to going back to Ireland for a game in the not too distant future.”
RELATED: Notre Dame will allow students back on campus this fall
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Notre Dame University announced on Monday that it will welcome students back on campus on August 10. That’s two weeks earlier than the fall semester was initially scheduled to begin. In addition, Notre Dame will forgo a fall break in October, and will instead end the semester before Thanksgiving.
In the announcement Notre Dame said they consulted with experts for months to develop their plan to welcome students back onto campus.
The plan to return includes comprehensive COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff. It also includes contact tracing, quarantine and isolation protocols, social distancing and mask requirements, and enhanced cleaning of all campus spaces.
“By far the most complex challenge before us is the return of our students to campus for the resumption of classes in the fall semester,” Notre Dame’s president Rev. John I. Jenkins wrote in a letter to students. “Bringing our students back is in effect assembling a small city of people from many parts of the nation and the world, who may bring with them pathogens to which they have been exposed. We recognize the challenge, but we believe it is one we can meet.”
Father Jenkins also wrote that the university is currently developing a plan to reopen research labs, studios and libraries in coming weeks.
In case of an outbreak, or if the university is unable to provide adequate testing, Notre Dame faculty have been asked to prepare both in-person and remote curricula for their classes. The remote curricula would also help any student keep up with classwork if they need to be quarantined.
The university is also developing criteria to determine whether or not to offer study abroad programs in the fall. That decision will be announced in June.
Notre Dame sent home all students in mid-March to complete their spring semesters remotely. They also canceled all summer classes, except for a small number of students who needed to complete summer work to prepare for the fall semester.