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Monday’s Leftovers: Notre Dame’s Signing Day & Spring plans; Clark Lea’s continuity

Notre Dame v Stanford

PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 25: JJ Arcega-Whiteside #19 of the Stanford Cardinal catches a touchdown pass while covered by Julian Love #27 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Stanford Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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The catchphrase was simple, hence the noun in the first place. “Super Bowl Sunday, No School Monday.” It was always more a wish than a reality, but then the Wisconsin weather gods offered up an ice day in 2007 — joy met the negative-16 degrees temperatures, though the negative-25 degrees wind chill was less of a delight.

Just like we did not want to be in pre-calculus that morning, no one wants to be at work today, less so than a usual Monday.

Let’s keep this space devoid of any heavy-lifting, as well.

Two dates to remember
The first is obvious: Wednesday is National Signing Day, when Notre Dame will add at least three recruits to the class of 2018, and possibly a few more. This will be the largest class in Irish head coach Brian Kelly’s tenure, about to encompass its ninth signing day.

Typically, commitments will not be announced in the 48 hours leading up to signing day. If a player waited this long, he will stall for a few more days and enjoy the shine provided by signing his National Letter of Intent at the same time as making the announcement.

Notre Dame also officially announced the date of the annual Blue-Gold Game, concluding spring practices. The entire spring schedule is not out yet, but expect those 15 sessions to commence in early to mid-March.

A few words from Clark Lea
The new Irish defensive coordinator shared his view of his promotion with John Heisler, the senior associate athletic director overseeing the media relations department. An interesting and quick read, Heisler tells the story of Lea learning he got the gig via a phone call with Kelly.

More pertinently, Lea points out what he felt was his greatest selling point.

“There was no need for an operations manual because of that continuity,” Lea said. “The organizational structure here was not going to change with me. In that spirit, I didn’t need to put anything on paper.”

Lea has focused on relaying that same message to his players, including junior linebacker Te’von Coney and junior defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, both of whom spurned the NFL draft for one more season at Notre Dame.

“What I’ve said to ever player I’ve talked to is this: ‘We’re going to go out and build on what we’ve started,’” Lea said.

The nature of football
The below tweet stood out in the hours after Sunday’s Super Bowl. While the degree to which it was true with the Irish this past fall was far less extreme than either of the examples given, it was still a key point to Notre Dame’s season.

No matter how the inevitable quarterback competition resolves itself in the next seven months, this will be a vital lesson for the entire depth chart to remember.

Monday’s Leftovers: Notre Dame lands a 2019 CB; Auburn hires an Irish AD
A refresher of Notre Dame’s early signing period success
Notre Dame makes Terry Joseph hire as safeties coach official
Whom might Notre Dame add to this recruiting class in six days?
Friday at 4: The pros, cons and math of Notre Dame signing more than 25 recruits

— This is far from a train moving down any tracks, but it is a story to keep an eye on if there are any further developments, which there very well may not be in the end: Notre Dame athletic director advised USA Gymnastics on sex abuse policy

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