NEW YORK — Brian Kelly expects defensive end Stephon Tuitt to decide soon whether to return for his senior year at Notre Dame or declare for the NFL Draft.
It's perhaps the most important decision for the viability of Notre Dame's 2014 playoff hopes, seeing as a defensive line depth chart consisting of Tuitt, Jarron Jones, Sheldon Day, Tony Springmann and Isaac Rochell looks far better than one without him.
Tuitt received a second-round grade on the draft evaluation he requested earlier this month.
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"We've had a couple of conversations, and he knows all of the information," Kelly said Saturday. "My job is to provide him with all the information about the decision that he's about to make, and I'm pretty certain that he'll make his decision here very, very soon."
Jones toughs it out one last time
Wide receiver T.J. Jones suffered a second-degree shoulder sprain, but wasn't about to stay sidelined for his final collegiate game.
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"I wasn't going to be done for the day, not with my last game in a Notre Dame uniform," Jones said. "I had to come back and contribute."
Jones caught five passes for 66 yards and finished his senior season with 65 catches for 1,042 yards and nine touchdowns. He passed Jeff Samardzija for second on Notre Dame's all-time receptions list with his five Pinstripe Bowl catches, too, and ended his four-year career with 181 catches.