Brian Kelly kicked off Notre Dame's 2014 season with an opening press conference on Friday.
With the Irish ready to start fall camp on Monday, the Irish's fifth-year head coach gave us a long-awaited update on the status of his football team.
With a schedule that features 10 opponents with winning records in 2013, including six teams that are coming off of double-digit victories, Kelly knows the battle his team faces on a weekly basis.
So as he got the media and fans up to speed on the state of the Irish, he highlighted a few key players who took a big leap forward this summer.
The Irish coaching staff used June to stage its own version of OTAs, while July was spent training with Paul Longo's strength staff.
Here are five players who took their games to the next level this summer.
*Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand. Official heights and weights provided by Notre Dame Sports Information.