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Brian Kelly's Goodbye Speech to Notre Dame's Players Has Leaked

On Wednesday morning, LSU released a video of Brian Kelly's first meeting with his new players. Now, we also know what he had to say to the players he left behind at Notre Dame from his brief 7 a.m. meeting.

Ryan Brandell of Barstool Sports posted a pair of videos containing Kelly's entire statement to the Notre Dame football players about leaving South Bend. As he has in other appearances over the last few days, he called the job at LSU a "new challenge," which attracted him at this point in his career.

The videos also settled the ever-important debate about the length of Kelly's speech. It wasn't 11 minutes, nor was it two minutes. The full thing went for 3:38.

Kelly's statement to Notre Dame's players, in full:

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“Morning guys. Thanks for getting up here in short order, short notice. As you know I sent out a text last night trying to give you as much notice as possible given the circumstances that we all know that happened relative to social media and information getting out.

"I know we’ve been through this together. I’ve recruited virtually everybody in this room. And I want to be able to tell you face-to-face why we’re at where we’re at. That is, very simply, that the past 12 years have been the most incredible 12 years of my life, for me and my family, being here at Notre Dame. Magical what we’ve been able to build with the most incredible student athletes. The ones that I’m looking at right now. And so, many times, people are looking for a reason to blame or there was a reason for something. There was nothing here but first-class in everything that Notre Dame has done for me and my family. I saw my time here as a blessing working with incredible men on a day-to-day basis.

"But there comes a time where you look in your life for another opportunity, and I felt it was the time in my life for another challenge. And I saw that opportunity in a very short window and felt that it was best for me and my family to pursue a new challenge. And so there’s no one to blame, there’s nobody that’s at fault, nobody did anything wrong. 

"You guys have been the backbone of this program with what you’ve accomplished and you’ll continue to do that. I think you’re one of the four best teams in the country. Jack [Swarbrick, Notre Dame athletic director] is going to get somebody that will continue to lead this program in incredible fashion. I don’t know what it holds for us moving forward, but I hope to heck it means you’re playing for the national championship because you absolutely deserve it. So from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone one of you for giving me this opportunity to speak with you directly because you don’t get that chance very often, and to thank you for allowing me to pursue what I love to do, and that’s develop 18–21 year olds. And you will continue to achieve at the highest level and have great success, no matter what moves forward for you.

"Thank you, I love each and every one of you, and for me more than anything else, it’s a sad day but one where I know that each one of you are going to do great things and you’ve got more to accomplish. I wish everybody here the very best and thank you for the opportunity that you’ve given me and my family. Thank you guys, appreciate it."

Hours later, Kelly spoke to his new players at LSU for the first time, explaining the move to them

"I get a chance to coach LSU football players, the best in the country, that have the best resources, that have an administration that's aligned to that end," Kelly said. "Why wouldn't I be here?"

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