Feb 14, 2013, 11:34 AM EDT
Safety Jamoris Slaughter‘s career at Notre Dame has official come to an end. The NCAA denied Slaughter’s appeal to return to the Irish for a sixth season, the university announced in a statement.
The six-foot, 200-pound safety from Georgia, who has already earned his degree at Notre Dame in Industrial Design, will shift his focus to the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine, where he’s been invited to participate.
“I understood that a sixth year was far from a guarantee,” Slaughter said in a statement released by Notre Dame. “It is sad to know that my time at Notre Dame as a football player is complete, but it doesn’t lessen my love for this University and its football program. This decision simply begins the next chapter of my life and I’ll be forever grateful for my coaches, teammates and all the Irish fans that supported me throughout my career.”
Slaughter played in 39 games for the Irish, starting 19, including the three to start the 2012 season before he went down with a season-ending Achilles’ tendon injury against Michigan State. In 2008, Slaughter sat out his entire freshman season. While many assumed it was to preserve a year of eligibility, Slaughter reportedly tore his meniscus in a high school All-Star game before enrolling at Notre Dame, which hampered his early development.
Still, there wasn’t enough evidence for the NCAA to grant Slaughter an additional season.
“I appreciate the NCAA taking the time to thoroughly look into Jamoris’ application for a sixth year,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly said in the same statement. “Jamoris is a first-class young man and most importantly leaves Notre Dame with his degree. We wish him all the best as he now pursues his dream of playing in the NFL.”
The timing of the Slaughter announcement comes a few days later than the Irish probably would have liked. With Notre Dame hovering around the 85 man scholarship limit, finding out definitively before Signing Day would have been ideal. Never the less, it appears Notre Dame was preparing for the worst, and heading into spring the Irish will be at the 85-man limit with Tate Nichols‘ health still up in the air.
With Slaughter out of the picture, the safety depth chart is shaping up to be one of the more interesting spring positional races on the roster. Austin Collinsworth will return, ready to take a starting job that likely would have been his, not Matthias Farley‘s, if he weren’t lost for the season with shoulder surgery. Nicky Baratti returns after impressing in limited time as a freshman. Elijah Shumate does as well, though he has ability to cross-train at cornerback. John Turner, CJ Prosise and Chris Badger all take off their redshirts as well. All before Max Redfield joins the roster this summer.