Brian Kelly has been an FBS head coach for 20 years now. That span includes a lot of wins and a couple of playoff appearances.
Kelly’s had plenty of talent come through his programs, putting several players in the NFL year after year.
A select few of those players have earned consensus All-American honors. Here, we’ll be looking at every consensus All-American Kelly’s worked with as a head coach.
Here are the 12 players to earn consensus All-American status under Kelly since he became a FBS head coach in 2004.
Brian Kelly’s first consensus All-American as a head coach was a specialist.
Huber was a punter and happens to be Kelly’s only two-time consensus All-American, earning the honors in 2007 and 2008.
Huber went on to have a lengthy NFL career, remaining in Cincinnati with the Bengals.
Te’o was the top defensive player in the country in 2012. He was invited to New York as a Heisman finalist and helped lead Kelly and Notre Dame to an appearance in the national title game.
He picked off seven passes while racking up 113 total tackles, with 5.5 of them going for a loss. Te’o won the Nagurski, Bednarik, and Butkus Awards along with the All-American honors.
Kelly’s next consensus All-American was another linebacker.
Jaylon Smith was one of the top defenders in the country in 2015, taking home the Butkus Award and recording 9.5 tackles for loss along with a forced fumble.
Smith was projected to be one of the top picks in the 2016 NFL draft until a knee injury pushed him to the second round, where he was selected by the Dallas Cowboys.
Kelly’s had several NFL linemen come through his programs over the years. Stanley was one of the best, earning All-American honors in 2015.
The Ravens selected Stanley with the sixth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. He remains with the organization and was a First-Team All-Pro in 2019.
Two years later, another offensive lineman joined Kelly’s consensus All-American club.
Nelson was the top guard in the country in 2017, and according to PFF, he was the highest-graded offensive lineman in the sport.
Nelson was selected sixth overall by the Colts in the 2018 NFL draft.
McGlinchey was one of the top offensive linemen in the country for a few years, but in 2017, he was finally recognized as a consensus All-American.
He was the second-best graded lineman in the sport that year, coming in right behind his teammate Nelson.
McGlinchey was drafted three picks after Nelson, going ninth overall to the San Francisco 49ers.
Love was Kelly’s first defensive back to earn consensus All-American honors after his stellar 2018 season.
Love ranked fourth nationally with 16 pass breakups while adding three tackles for loss and a forced fumble. He was a key member of a Notre Dame team that made a playoff run and was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL draft.
In 2020, Owusu-Koramoah was one of the best all-around defenders in the country. He notched 62 total tackles, with 11 of them coming for a loss. He added a sack, an interception, and three forced fumbles.
He won the Butkus Award to go along with the All-American honors and was drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Browns.
Eichenberg joined Owusu-Koramoah as a consensus All-American in 2020. He was one of the top tackles in the country and didn’t allow a sack all year. He went on to be the 42nd overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
Hamilton emerged an an all-pro safety with the Baltimore Ravens in 2023, but before that, he was an All-American in Brian Kelly’s final year at Notre Dame.
Hamilton helped lead a defense that ranked 15th nationally in points allowed on his way to being the 14th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
Nabers was the first wide receiver to earn consensus All-American honors under Kelly.
Nabers was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award and led the country in receiving yards per game while finishing third in touchdowns. After declaring early for the 2024 NFL Draft, Nabers is expected to be a top-15 pick.
Kelly has gone on record saying Daniels is the best player he’s coached. That says a lot given the other players on this list. Daniels put up historic numbers on his way to becoming Kelly’s first Heisman trophy winner.
With QB-needy teams occupying the first three picks of the NFL draft, there’s a chance Daniels is one of the first players off the board.