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Notre Dame still has one position up for grabs

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly watches his team warm up during NCAA college football  practice Thursday Aug. 22 2013

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly watches his team warm up during NCAA college football practice Thursday Aug. 22, 2013, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Ronnie Stanley is listed as the starter at right tackle on Notre Dame’s depth chart. But the position is still up for grabs heading into Saturday’s opener against Temple.

Steve Elmer is also competing for the starting spot.

“If you would ask us today, Ronnie would start there. But that’s a very fluid situation,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said during his weekly news conference Tuesday.

“We have great confidence that Steve Elmer could go in there and start for us if we need to as well. And it’s not out of the question that he could be playing there at some time on Saturday as well. Keep an eye on both of those guys playing some right tackle for us.”

There weren’t many surprises on the depth chart.

Freshman Jaylon Smith has emerged as the starter at outside linebacker. He was practicing with the first unit last week.

“Jaylon plays so well in space. He’s a very smart player. He plays instinctively,” Kelly said. “The one thing that Jaylon has done as well as a lot of freshmen that I’ve been around, he doesn’t make the same mistake twice.”

Austin Collinsworth is listed ahead of Elijah Shumate at safety. Kelly said the two are “1A/1B.”

“Both will play. It’s a 1A/1B situation. Depending on where we are in the game, down-and-distance, a lot of those factors will be involved,” Kelly said. “You’ve got to look at both of those guys playing an equal amount of football.”

George Atkinson III is the first running back listed. But expect the Irish to use several backs. One exception is Will Mahone. He will miss the opener as he continues to recover from a high ankle sprain.

Note: Several members of the 1988 Notre Dame football team will join “Unbeatable” author Jerry Barca for a Q&A and book signing Thursday in Chicago.

Tony Rice, Chris Zorich, Pat Terrell, Mark Green and Tim Ryan are scheduled to attend. “Unbeatable” details the 25th anniversary of the 1988 season.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at The Irish Oak (3511 North Clark Street).

Email: lpope@post-trib.com

Twitter: @lamondpope



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