Count William Mahone's mother among those who enjoy Brian Kelly's sideline tirades.
"I can't wait till he gets in William's face," Celia Mahone said. "I said, 'What are you going to do?' He said, 'Nothing.' I said, 'That's right.' "
William (Youngstown, Ohio/Austintown Fitch) joked that his mother won't miss him when he's off to college this weekend. Celia said she is ready for her only child to move on. They will probably celebrate the next step by having one more of their many movie nights together this week before making the 300-plus mile trip west to Notre Dame. William recently spoke about the start of his Irish career.
What's the feeling like now as you're about a week away from college?
William Mahone: I'm pretty excited. I just wanna get started and get involved with my teammates and get to work.
What have you been doing to stay in shape and be ready when you get there?
WM: Coach [Tony] Alford gave me the formation stuff a while ago. I've been going through that a lot and all my conditioning stuff and just working out and staying focused.
Do you know what you'll major in?
WM: I'm gonna wait to decide on that. I really don't know what I want to do in school yet so we'll see. I just want to get the hang of school first and find out what I want to do.
How much are you in touch with guys there?
WM: I talked to a lot of guys. Eilar [Hardy] and Matthias [Farley], they say it's tough but you get used to it and enjoy it. And it's nothing you can't handle but you've got to be strong-minded about it. But all of that is encouraging words from all of these players, so I'm pretty excited about coming down.
Have you talked to Gunner Kiel or Sheldon Day about being there already?
WM: I talked to Sheldon after the spring game and everything. He loves it down there, he's real cool about it. My mom and his mom know each other pretty good so they talk sometimes. So yeah, it's definitely a good thing being down there early and being able to help each other when we get down there.
Lots of depth in the backfield. How are you going to stand out?
WM: I'm gonna just try to do everything I can: block well, run well, catch well -- just try to be an athlete and do whatever I can to get on the field and help the team out. I know they use a lot of running backs for the slot and at running back, that was shown in the spring game and some of last year. So I feel like I fit in well doing that. I feel like blocking is an asset I have at running back, being that I'm bigger than most of them. So I hope that I can come in and compete and earn a spot there.
Are there any background ties to Notre Dame? How did it ultimately seem like the right fit?
WM: Honestly a lot of people around my area have attended Notre Dame or just followed it a lot. Around my area it's a lot of Ohio State and Notre Dame people, so a lot of people have been giving me information and telling me exciting things about it. Actually, I think it was Sunday I went to my girlfriend's dinner and her cousin's boyfriend is actually there right now, I think he'll be a senior next year. He was just talking to me about it and how the campus is and we were chatting it up about it so I feel I have a good understanding of what I'm getting myself into and am very excited about it.
Do you know what number you'll wear yet?
WM: I haven't talked to the coaches about it but want to get like 21 or 2. Those are the only numbers I can see that are available on offense.
Do you have any big plans before finally leaving for school?
WM: Not really. I had my graduation party last week, which was pretty good. Good turnout, good time, had a lot of family come in from out of town and that was pretty exciting, to get to see them. But really just hanging out with people that have been really instrumental in my life before I leave and just try to make the best of it.
How far is Notre Dame from you? How are your friends and family dealing with the move?
WM: It's 4.5, five hours, so it's not that bad. [My mother] keeps saying she's not going to miss me but I think she always will. Only child and stuff. This is what she was really hoping for, so just got to make her proud.