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Notre Dame’s Brian ‘Kelly pulled a Saban’

Notre Dame’s Brian ‘Kelly pulled a Saban’


When Notre Dame lost Clark Lea prior to the College Football Playoff game against Alabama, Brian Kelly knew that he had to find an equally highly thought of replacement. That’s exactly what Kelly did when he hired Marcus Freeman away from Cincinnati.

It was universally praised as a home run hire, one that could make a significant change to the entire program. In a good way, actually a great way. Even before Freeman has coached a single game, we’ve seen a spike in recruiting for the Irish, a change in philosophy for the better. It seems like the profile has changed, going after high end talent has produced great results.

As long time college football writer Pat Forde started to review what to expect this fall, he looked how good is your new coordinator. It’s just something that happens every year in major sports and you can add Forde to the large amount of people who think Freeman will be a game changer.

This is Kelly pulling a Saban, losing great coaching talent and replacing it with great coaching talent.

It’s a new phrase, “pulling a Saban,” but if there’s one program that everyone across the country tries to emulate, it’s Alabama. You might hate them, but you have to respect what Nick Saban has done during his tenure in Tuscaloosa. So if Kelly is taking a page out of Saban’s book, it’s most likely a very good thing.