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Irish Insights

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Associated Press
Temple wide receiver Nate Hairston is tackled by Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith on Saturday.

Counting on freshmen

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday he will not hesitate to play freshmen when the No. 14 Irish (1-0) travel to play No. 17 Michigan (1-0) on Saturday night.

The Irish used 10 freshmen in last weekend's 28-6 victory over Temple with linebacker and former Bishop Luers star Jaylon Smith and receiver Corey Robinson each starting.

The other freshmen who played against Temple were: safety Max Redfield, receiver William Fuller, receiver James Onwualu, cornerback Cole Luke, defensive end Issac Rochell, cornerback Devin Butler and running backs Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston.

"They got their opportunity to play," Kelly said. "We expect all those young men to play again."

Smith, who was the first freshman outside linebacker to start an opener for Notre Dame since 1995, recorded one tackle against Temple. Redfield, Onwualu, Butler and Luke each had a tackle, with all three playing on special teams.

Rochell had two tackles, and Bryan ran for 12 yards and Folston ran for 14 yards.

"I like Cole Luke," Kelly said of the freshmen that stood out against Temple. "He was in on a number of plays. Certainly when you are talking about overall, it is hard to just say one guy, but Jaylon Smith was out there for a lot of football. He's going to benefit the most because of the amount of snaps he took from Week 1 to Week 2. And he's got a great skill set. There's a lot he's going to have to learn from it, but I think all those guys who got a lot of snaps are going to benefit. I don't know that one guy stands out in terms of his play.

"You look at every one of those freshmen who were out there, I think they benefited a great deal. The freshmen running backs, even though they only got a few snaps, they got an opportunity to compete. Isaac Rochell, again, they didn't get a ton of reps, but I think they all benefited. I wouldn't single out one guy, as much as, all of those guys are going to be able to contribute as this season unfolds because it's going to be a long tough season. And we are going to need them all."

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