Neal to return punts, Russell on the corner for Irish vs Navy

Brian Kelly will have plenty of players making their college debut in a foreign country when Notre Dame opens the season against Navy in Dublin, Ireland on September 1st.

The biggest of course is quarterback Everett Golson, who Kelly named as his starter on Thursday.

Kelly also said that freshman KeiVarae Russell will start at cornerback opposite of Bennett Jackson. Russell is so new to the position that he's listed in the media guide as a wide receiver.

The Irish made the switch before fall camp and when Lo Wood went down this week, Russell emerged as the starter. Wood had success surgery on his left achilles tendon on Wednesday courtesy of Dr. Brian Ratigan. Wood is expected to make a full recovery in six months.

Another true freshman will take over a position that had almost no productivity in 2011. Davonte Neal will field punts and the Irish hope he will actually be able to return them for yards rather than wave his hand for a fair catch, which was a constant last season.


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