No coach wants to deal with any season-ending injuries, let alone the spate that has hit Notre Dame over the past couple of seasons.

Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly hopes he put in the groundwork long ago to make sure the team can survive, though.

"I make phone calls every Monday night," Kelly told reporters this week during his press conference to preview this Saturday's game against Massachusetts. "We write a lot of letters. We spend a lot of time recruiting, 365 days a year, so that going into this year, that the next man in is, C.J. Prosise; so that the next man in is Alizé Jones."

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Kelly signed the No. 6 recruiting class in the country last winter according to Scout.com. The 2014 group was also No. 6 while the 2013 class ranked fifth.

"We've been working hard at recruiting to get to this point where those guys are called upon are good players," Kelly said. "That's why there's confidence in the group that we believe we've got enough guys that can go in and step up and play championship football.

"You just hate to lose quality guys which you have invested so much time in, because there is a bit of a learning curve for those guys when they come in the game but they have just done a great job so far."

To Kelly's point, he was able to replace four-star quarterback prospect Malik Zaire with four-star quarterback prospect DeShone Kizer.

Four-star defensive lineman Jarron Jones has been replaced by the duo of Daniel Cage and Jerry Tillery both four-stars.

C.J. Prosise, a four-star defensive back prospect, has stepped in at running back after the loss of Tarean Folston, who was also a four-star.

Four-star Durham Smythe goes down at tight end? In comes the aforementioned Jones, a five-star true freshman.