Kelly: Nix signs with agent, to enter NFL draft
Notre Dame nose guard Louis Nix III has signed with an agent and
will forego his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft,
where he is projected by many to be a first-round draft pick.
Coach Brian Kelly also said at a news conference Sunday that
defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt, a junior, has submitted paperwork
to get an evaluation where he likely would be selected if he
entered the draft. He also has been projected as a possible
Kelly said he’s talked some with Tuitt about his decision, but
not in depth.
”I’ve had some preliminary conversations about his academic
work. He still has some work to do academically. But we haven’t
really delved into the depth of that,” Kelly said.
Kelly said he believes Tuitt should stay and earn his degree
before entering the draft.
”I think you come to Notre Dame to get a degree, and I think
getting a degree is very important in this whole process,” he
He pointed to wide receiver Michael Floyd, linebacker Manti Te’o
and tight end Tyler Eifert as players who returned to Notre Dame
when they could have left early as examples of players doing well
in the NFL. Kelly said Nix’s situation is different.
Nix, who is academically a senior, said last month he was taking
19 hours of classes this semester so he could earn his degree. When
asked whether he thought Nix made the right choice, Kelly said he
believes the best decision Nix made was to attend Notre Dame and
get his degree.
”The rest of those (decisions), you’re splitting hairs,” he
said. ”We’ll find out, because you’re taking a gamble no matter
Nix’s season came to an end Nov. 21 when he underwent
season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
The 6-foot-2, 349-pound senior also had been slowed by tendinitis
in the same knee.
Nix, who didn’t play as a freshman, told media at the time he
was undecided about whether he would return, saying his focus was
on getting healthy.
Nix tweeted a message Friday of an emoticon crying and an
Instagram photo taken from a car pulling away from Notre Dame with
the Golden Dome reflected in the side driver’s side mirror.
Nix signed with an agent before Kelly could tell him that would
mean he couldn’t travel with the 25th-ranked Irish (8-4) to New
York to face Rutgers (6-6) in the Pinstripe Bowl.
”Louis in New York would be cool, especially around Christmas
time. So that’s unfortunate,” he said.
Kelly also said quarterback Everett Golson, who will find out
later this month whether he will be readmitted to school after
being suspended for the semester for what he termed ”poor judgment
on a test,” will not practice with the team leading up to the bowl
game. Kelly had previously said if Golson were readmitted, he could
practice after the semester ends on Dec. 20.
Kelly said what with the bowl being played on Dec. 28, that
isn’t a possibility because there isn’t enough time.
”We’re just not going to have the time or the place to get him
in to practice,” Kelly said.
Kelly said he plans to travel to Myrtle Beach on Monday to meet
with Golson, saying he thinks Golson will come back as a better
player than the one that helped the Irish get to the national
championship game last season, but not necessarily because of his
work with quarterback coach George Whitfield.
”I think we’re going to get a better person and someone more
committed because he’s going to be someone who is more committed to
being a better student and more committed to everything he does. I
think that’s going to be a better quarterback at Notre Dame,” he
Starting left guard Chris Watt will miss the bowl game after
tearing his medial collateral ligament in the final regular-season
game against Stanford.
Kelly also said cornerback Lo Wood and tight end Alex Welch,
both seniors with a year of eligibility left, have been granted
releases to transfer to other schools after the season ends. Wood
was expected to be a starter last season before sustaining a
preseason Achilles tendon injury. He has 10 tackles as a backup
cornerback and on special teams this season. Welch has one catch
for 8 yards in as a sophomore, missed last season with a knee
injury and doesn’t have a catch this season.