Notre Dame practice report: Four players remain suspended

Notre Dame practice report: Four players remain suspended
August 19, 2014, 6:45 pm
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The four players suspended during Notre Dame's investigation into possible academic dishonesty remained out of practice on Tuesday, the team's final preseason practice open to the media.

Wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, linebacker Kendall Moore, cornerback KeiVarae Russell and defensive end Ishaq Williams were nowhere to be seen as the team practiced at Notre Dame Stadium. All four players were suspended from team activities on Friday as they're investigated for academic misconduct that could ultimately lead to their expulsion from the university.

Coach Brian Kelly said he has spoken to the four players, but that there's "no clarity" on when the university's investigation will be resolved.

In other practice observations:

-- Sophomore tight end Durham Symthe wasn't in pads for the second straight practice open to the media (he was sidelined Saturday, too). Coach Brian Kelly said Smythe has a hamstring issue but should return to practice on Monday.

-- Sophomore linebacker Doug Randolph similarly was sidelined on Tuesday, as was the case Saturday as well. He has a bone bruise and, like Smythe, should be back at practice next week.

-- Senior Linebacker Jarrett Grace (leg) participated in some drills but was on the sidelines for portions of practice as well, as has been the case all month. Kelly said Grace "crossed a big threshold" in terms of planting his foot while running but isn't likely to return until a few weeks into the season at the earliest.

[MORE: Brian Kelly expects resiliency from team amid academic investigation]

-- Coach Brian Kelly said last week sophomore wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr. would be "doubtful" for Notre Dame's season-opener against Rice, and while he sat out Tuesday's practice he was moving fairly well for a guy who suffered a Grade 3 groin tear earlier this month.

-- Notre Dame's first-team defense included sophomore Isaac Rochell (replacing Williams) and freshman Andrew Trumbetti at defensive end, sophomore James Onwualu at Sam outside linebacker and sophomore Cole Luke at corner (replacing Russell).

-- Sophomore Corey Robinson looks in line to replace Daniels in Notre Dame's first-team offense, though fellow sophomore Will Fuller was seen riding an exercise bike for a good chunk of practice. Fuller's issue was minor, Kelly said, and if Notre Dame needs to get some speed on the field Fuller will sub in for Robinson.

-- Freshmen receivers Justin Brent and Corey Holmes saw reps with the second-team offense, and given Daniels' absence and Hunter's injury they'll likely be counted on early in the season.

-- Senior Conor Hanratty took first-team reps at left guard, with senior Matt Hegarty sliding to the second-team offensive line at center. Still, Kelly said if the season began Tuesday Hegarty would start at left guard and his second-team work today was to get him practice snapping the ball, since he'd slide over to center if Notre Dame needed to replace Nick Martin there.

-- Junior Elijah Shumate saw some reps with the first-team defense alongside Austin Collinsworth at safety, though sophomore Max Redfield would still appear to be in line to start. Kelly said Shumate likely will back up Collinsworth, while Nicky Baratti will sub in for Redfield.