Getty Images

Concussions end Robinson’s Notre Dame football career

1 Comment

Notre Dame football announced Wednesday the career of Corey Robinson is over.

In a statement tweeted by the athletics department, the senior wide receiver cited multiple concussions as the reason he will give up his final year of eligibility for the Fighting Irish.

Robinson, the son of Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame center David Robinson, caught 16 passes for 200 yards and one touchdown last season for Notre Dame.

He finishes his career with 65 catches for 896 yards and seven touchdowns.

The San Antonio native will remain part of the team as a student assistant this fall, but that won’t be the only thing occupying his time: In February, he was elected Notre Dame student body president.

Although Robinson did not have a major impact on the Fighting Irish last season, his exit further thins a receiving corps that already lots its top three players from 2015 in Will Fuller, Chris Brown and Amir Carlisle.

The team’s leading returning receiver is Torii Hunter Jr., who caught 28 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns in 2015.

Ohio State won the NFL Draft’s first round, and Ole Miss lost it

Getty Images
12 Comments

After a win in the Great Satellite War of 2016 earlier Thursday, the Big Ten continued its winning streak into the night as Jim Delany‘s conference claimed the most selections in the NFL Draft’s first round.

Ohio State led the way with five selections, one short of 2004 Miami’s all-time record. Joey Bosa was first off the board to the Chargers at No.3, followed immediately by Ezekiel Elliott to the Cowboys at No. 4. The pair became the first teammates selected in the top five since Sam BradfordGerald McCoy and Trent Williams were selected in the top four in 2010. Cornerback Eli Apple joined Elliott in the NFC East in going to the Giants at No. 10, and Taylor Decker trailed six picks later to the Lions. Linebacker Darron Lee rounded out the night for the Buckeyes when he went to the Jets at No. 20.

Ole Miss trailed Ohio State with three first-round selections, but the night was anything but a win for Hugh Freeze and the Rebels, not after Laremy Tunsil was shown on Twitter smoking from a bong, then admitting in a press conference to taking money from coaches. Tunsil, once projected as the No. 1 overall pick, fell to the Dolphins at No. 13. Laquon Treadwell was chosen by the Vikings at No. 23, and Robert Nkemdiche headed west to the Cardinals at No. 29.

Most selections by team
5 – Ohio State
3 – Ole Miss
2 – Florida, Notre Dame

Other storylines of note:

– SEC shut out at the top: Thanks in large part to Tunsil’s slide, the SEC did not dent the big board until Georgia’s Leonard Floyd went to the host Bears at No. 9. It was the conference’s longest wait to join the Draft since 2006, when Vanderbilt’s Jay Cutler was the SEC’s ice breaker at No. 11 overall. Still, the SEC was the most frequent player on Thursday night.

Most selections by conference
1. SEC – 8
2. Big Ten – 6
3. ACC – 4
3. Pac-12 – 4
5. Big 12 – 3
6. American – 2
7. Conference USA – 1

– Chip Kelly‘s Pac-12 love affair continues: After loading up on Pac-12 players in Philadelphia, the new 49ers head coach double-dipped into his old stomping grounds by nabbing former Duck DeForest Buckner at No. 7, then trading back into the first round to nab Stanford guard Joshua Garnett in the Chiefs’ spot at No. 28.

– Quarterbacks at the top, again: Jared Goff became California’s first No. 1 selection since 1975, but the Big Game rivalry’s second in four years. Overall, quarterbacks have gone No. 1 overall 14 times since Peyton Manning entered the league in 1998.

The full list:

  1. Los Angeles Rams — Jared Goff, California
  2. Philadelphia Eagles — Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
  3. San Diego Chargers — Joey Bosa, Ohio State
  4. Dallas Cowboys — Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars — Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
  6. Baltimore Ravens — Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
  7. San Francisco 49ers — DeForest Buckner, Oregon
  8. Tennessee Titans — Jack Conklin, Michigan State
  9. Chicago Bears — Leonard Floyd, Georgia
  10. New York Giants — Eli Apple, Ohio State
  11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
  12. New Orleans Saints — Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
  13. Miami Dolphins — Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
  14. Oakland Raiders — Karl Joseph, West Virginia
  15. Cleveland Browns — Corey Coleman, Baylor
  16. Detriot Lions — Taylor Decker, Ohio State
  17. Atlanta Falcons — Keanu Neal, Florida
  18. Indianapolis Colts — Ryan Kelly, Alabama
  19. Buffalo Bills — Shaq Lawson, Clemson
  20. New York Jets — Darron Lee, Ohio State
  21. Houston Texans — Will Fuller, Notre Dame
  22. Washington Redskins — Josh Doctson, TCU
  23. Minnesota Vikings — Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
  24. Cincinnati Bengals — William Jackson III, Houston
  25. Pittsburgh Steelers — Artie Burns, Miami
  26. Denver Broncos — Paxton Lynch, Memphis
  27. Green Bay Packers — Kenny Clark, UCLA
  28. San Francisco 49ers — Joshua Garnett, Stanford
  29. Arizona Cardinals — Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
  30. Carolina Panthers — Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech
  31. Seattle Seahawks — Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M

Brian Kelly spreading optimism heading to Notre Dame spring game

1 Comment

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has a lot on his plate as head coach of the Fighting Irish this spring. He needs to make a decision between Malik Zaire and Deshone Kizer. He needs to plug some key holes on defense (so long Sheldon Day, Joe Schmidt, Jaylon Smith). He needs to figure out if he has the right players on the field to keep the offense moving (adios Will Fuller and C.J. Prosise). Rest assured though, Kelly is feeling optimistic about his program as the spring starts to draw to a close.

Kelly sat down for an interview with Jac Collinsworth (you may know his father, Chris) to discuss new contributors, his quarterback competition and more ahead of the spring game in South Bend coming up this weekend (12:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network on Saturday)

Notre Dame CB KeiVarae Russell declares for 2016 NFL Draft

Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP
2 Comments

Add Notre Dame cornerback KeiVarae Russell to the growing list of underclassmen opting to enter the NFL Draft this spring. The junior defensive back from Notre Dame announced his decision to turn pro through an interview with Sports Illustrateds Pete Thamel, which was published Monday.

In the SI story, Russell says he made the decision to declare for the NFL Draft regardless of the decision by the NCAA regarding a year of eligibility. Russell missed the 2014 season due to a violation of Notre Dame’s honor code, which also saw a handful of other players from the Fighting Irish miss playing time as well. Russell returned to the team this season but missed the final two games of the year after suffering a broken tibia against Boston College. He does not expect to participate in any combine activities at the NFL Scouting Combine later this year leading up to the NFL Draft.

“I’m back on track as far as progressing as a player,” Russell said. “I’m ready to fulfill my dream and help out my family and do other things I wanted to do in my life.”

Russell is scheduled to graduate from Notre Dame in one more semester, this despite having to attend classes at a community college following his honor code violation for academic integrity.

Russell joins fellow Irish players C.J. Prosise and Will Fuller as underclassmen to declare a year early for the NFL Draft. Keith Arnold of our sister site Inside the Irish posted an interesting though following the Fuller news yesterday…

Arnold was referring to Notre Dame linebacker Jaylen Smith , who suffered a severe knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. Smith’s injury is a reminder that a devastating injury can occur at any time, and that can convince some talented college players to test the NFL waters as early as possible.

Notre Dame WR Will Fuller leaving Irish for NFL Draft

5 Comments

Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller will be joining the pool of underclassmen declaring early for the 2016 NFL Draft. Fuller announced his decision to leave Notre Dame for the NFL today with a released statement, which he shared on his Twitter account.

Earlier during the season Fuller said he had plans to come back for his senior season in 2016, but obviously he had a change of heart. He will join teammate C.J. Prosise as an early entrant in the NFL Draft pool. Prosise announced his decision to leave the Irish yesterday.

Fuller was Notre Dame’s leading receiver in 2015 with 1,258 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. He also led the Irish in receiving in 2014 with 1,094 yards and 15 touchdowns. Rotoworld suggests Fuller could be chosen in any one of the first three rounds of the NFL Draft this spring and tabs him as one of the draft’s best vertical targets.