Notre Dame still sorting out its kickers

Notre Dame still sorting out its kickers
August 23, 2013, 4:45 pm
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame won't settle on a placekicker and punter until after Week 1.

Coach Brian Kelly said on Thursday he'll use Kyle Brindza, Nick Tausch and Alex Wulfeck against Temple to help decide who the team's No. 1 placekicker and punter will be.

Brindza made 23 of 31 field goal attempts, including a season-high 52-yarder, last fall. He's involved in two separate battles — first with Tausch for the placekicking job and second with Wulfeck for the punting gig.

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Tausch's return to Notre Dame for a fifth year was somewhat of a surprise, but with Kelly wanting Brindza to work out as a punter, he wanted another option in case the junior moved into that role full-time. Kelly's been impressed with Tausch's work in practice, helping justify the decision to have him stick around for another fall.

"I didn't bring Nick back not to give him a chance to win the job," Kelly said. "It just wouldn't be fair. We'd just tell him, listen, go find another place."

Brindza will handle kickoffs and appears first in line for the punting job over Wulfeck, who transferred to Notre Dame from Wake Forest earlier this year. Kelly sees plenty of upside in Brindza over a more steady option in Wulfeck and wants to try to capitalize on that at least initially.

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"I really think he can be an All‑American punter," Kelly said. "He may not be there yet, and we're going to have some growing pains there.

"But we have a guy in Wulfeck that can get us out of some jams. He's really consistent. He's going to get us great hang time, and he's going to put us in some good positions. He's not going to flip the field position, but he's going to keep us in good position. So he's going to help us as well."

Kelly said a decision will be made going into Week 2 as to who his placekicker and punter will be.