Tag: Transfer

Matt Cashore

Heggie will play fifth year at Ball State


Former Notre Dame offensive lineman Bruce Heggie will play out his eligibility at Ball State. One of Brian Kelly’s most “noteworthy” recruits, Heggie played sparingly in South Bend, but will have a chance to compete for Pete Lembo’s Cardinal squad.

He joins Alex Welch, Lo Wood and Andrew Hendrix as fifth year players finishing their career at a MAC program, with the aforementioned trio playing for Chuck Martin at Miami (Ohio).

Heggie finished at Notre Dame as a reserve center, playing in four games, mostly on special teams. He played in five other games between 2011-12, shifting from the defensive line to the offensive side of the ball. At Ball State, Heggie is expected to return to the defensive front. He’ll join junior college transfer Julian Jackson as added depth on the line.

“We are pleased to welcome Bruce and Julian to the Ball State football family,” Lembo said in a statement.  “It has been a real pleasure getting to know both young men and their families over the last several months.  Both of these student-athletes are here because they really liked how they fit in with our players and coaches when they visited the campus.  They are also excited about the academic opportunities the university has to offer.  The addition of two mature defensive linemen should increase the competition for playing time and our depth when preseason camp begins in late July.”

Heggie will forever be known as the recruit Brian Kelly plucked out of obscurity, offering a scholarship to the Mount Dora, Florida native when no other program had come calling. A profile prospect, Kelly liked the frame and power potential that Heggie projected, and while the offer and commitment had Irish fans scratching their heads, Heggie provided depth the past four seasons and will finish his college career as a 6-foot-5, 275-pounder.

Heggie follows in little-used defensive lineman Brandon Newman’s footsteps, who also played out his eligibility at Ball State. Former Irish SID Brian Hardin is now an associate athletic director at Ball State, potentially another key connection between the programs.



Badger granted immediately eligibility at BYU

Chris Badger

Even though he practiced with Notre Dame during fall camp, Chris Badger will be suiting up for BYU this season, the NCAA decided. Badger was granted immediate eligibility today and will suit up for the Cougars against in-state rival Utah this weekend.

Badger was a redshirt safety for the Irish last season, not seeing the field after spending two seasons away from the game while on his Mormon Mission. Badger enrolled early at Notre Dame during the spring of 2010, the first practices Brian Kelly coached for the Irish before deciding to leave school.

BYU will face Notre Dame later this season, making for the very unique situation where Badger will be playing against the team he was a part of just a few short months earlier. Relatively buried on the safety depth chart for the Irish, Badger transferred home to Provo to be closer to his ailing mother in late August.

Chris Badger plans transfer to BYU

Chris Badger

Safety Chris Badger is no longer a part of Notre Dame’s football program. Per a report from Jake Brown of IrishIllustrated.com, the reserve safety has left the program and plans to enroll at BYU.

The Provo, Utah native was originally recruited by Charlie Weis, enrolled early for spring practice then went on a two-year Mormon mission. He returned to the program last summer and did not play last season, saving a year of eligibility.

Per Jay Drew, the BYU beat writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, Badger will attempt to gain immediate eligibility this season. Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune adds that the appeal will hinge on the health of Badger’s mother, who is ill and unable to travel. (BYU is in Badger’s hometown.)

The Irish depth chart looked ominous for Badger, who was buried deep behind some talented safeties. When Badger enrolled early in South Bend, there was no two-deep depth chart to speak of, with Badger joining a position group that included only Dan McCarthy, Harrison Smith, Jamoris Slaughter and Zeke Motta as returning scholarship players. Compare that to today, where the Irish opened camp with eight scholarship safeties, with Badger at or near the bottom of that group.

BYU starts classes on Tuesday. If the NCAA allows Badger to play this season, it’ll create the unique circumstance of having a player go through all of training camp with a team that he’ll compete against later that season.


USF announces Aaron Lynch transfer


It appears that the Aaron Lynch saga is officially over.

Lynch, who walked away from the Irish football team in the middle of spring practice, visited USF this weekend while his former teammates were playing in the 83rd Blue-Gold game. The soon-to-be-sophomore, who led the Irish in sacks last season with 5.5, is still enrolled in classes at Notre Dame, but has apparently made up his mind that he’s leaving at the end of the spring semester.

While rumors swirled this weekend, it appears Lynch’s decision has been made. The official website for the South Florida Bulls made this announcement today, all but finalizing the move:

TAMPA – The University of South Florida will add transfer Aaron Lynch to its roster for the 2012 season, head coach Skip Holtz has announced. Lynch, a Cape Coral, Fla. native, intends to transfer from Notre Dame after earning Freshman All-America honors during his true freshman season in 2011.

“With Aaron originally being from Florida, we’re very familiar with the kind of player he is,” Holtz said. “Aaron had a great freshman season at Notre Dame and we’re excited to welcome him into the Bulls family.”

Lynch played in 12 games for Notre Dame last season, including the Bulls season-opening victory against the Fighting Irish, and started six. He posted 33 tackles, 5.5 sacks, seven TFL, 14 pressures, two PBU and a forced fumble en route to first-team Freshman All-America honors. Lynch probably had his most productive game of the season against Michigan St., when he posted five tackles, a sack, six pressures and a forced fumble. He also started in the Champs Sports Bowl against Florida St. and tallied five tackles, 1.5 sacks and a pressure.

A highly-decorated prep player at Island Coast High School, Lynch was one of the top-ranked players coming out of high school in 2010, rated as high as the sixth-best prospect. He capped his stellar career with 31 solo tackles and 10.5 sacks en route to being named a U.S. Army All-American.

Lynch is expected to enroll in summer school at South Florida in June. After watching Amir Carlisle gain immediate eligibility, it’s expected that USF will begin immediate work on getting a similar waiver.

Heading into the weekend, it appeared there was a sliver of hope that Lynch would reconsider his decision. Between his mother’s social media outreach to former Irish defensive end Justin Tuck, and a few conversations Lynch had with parents and people close to the program, outsiders hoped that Lynch would come to his proverbial senses.

One person with no interest of holding out for Lynch was Irish head coach Brian Kelly. From the moment Lynch and Kelly discussed his departure after his brief visit home over Easter weekend, Kelly has been consistent with his sincere ability to turn the page and move quickly past the loss, a potentially immeasurable one to the Irish pass rush.

Of course, with Lynch nothing is complete until he’s on campus in Tampa this June. But it appears Lynch’s path to the NFL will no longer be a direct flight from South Bend.


Irish getting unlikely transfer in USC’s Amir Carlisle


Last year, the Irish came down to the wire for the services of blue-chip running back Amir Carlisle, only to see the California native stay in his home state and play for Southern Cal. After whispers of a surprise transfer flew across the Irish blogosphere over the past few days, Bob Wieneke of the South Bend Tribune broke the story that Carlisle, a year after almost coming to Notre Dame, was leaving Los Angeles and headed to South Bend.

Here’s more from Wieneke’s report:

Carlisle will transfer to Notre Dame and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2013 season. He will enroll at ND for the spring 2012 semester, which begins Jan. 17. Carlisle must sit out the 2012 season to satisfy NCAA transfer requirements.

“It was a very tough decision for him to select USC over Notre Dame last year,” Duane Carlisle, Amir’s father, told the South Bend Tribune on Saturday. “It came down to the wire, and it was neck-and-neck the whole time. Very close decision. They’re both great places with great traditions.

“He’s excited. He’s very excited about the opportunity to continue his career as a student-athlete at Notre Dame.”

Carlisle was granted his release from USC, and on Friday he met with Irish head coach Brian Kelly, tight ends coach Mike Denbrock, who recruits the West coast, and offensive coordinator Chuck Martin.

“It’ll be good,” Duane Carlisle said. “He’s got a real clear picture with how he’ll be used, and he’s excited about getting on the field.”

Kelly cannot publicly comment on Carlisle until he signs his scholarship form, which essentially serves as a national letter-of-intent.

The story sent shockwaves through the USC program, with players reportedly blindsided by the move. Carlisle’s freshman season was ruined by a variety of injuries, but the youngster did plenty to impress Lane Kiffin, and even with Curtis McNeal stepping up and claiming the starting running back job, Carlisle was likely the No. 2 back in the program heading into spring drills, ahead of players like George Farmer and D.J. Morgan.

The Irish’s dogged chase of Carlisle last recruiting cycle came back to be a huge benefit after his father, Duane Carlisle, took over as the Director of Sports Performance at Purdue, after spending three years as the head of strength and conditioning for the San Francisco 49ers. Not wanting to split from his family, Carlisle decided to transfer to the Midwest as well, leaving the Trojans for one of their biggest rivals.

“This definitely was a family decision,” Duane Carlisle told the Tribune. “It wasn’t just an Amir decision. We felt as though Notre Dame would be the best fit for him for the next four years.”

The fit is an excellent one for the Irish (made even better because it puts a large dent in the Trojan backfield depth chart as well). Carlisle will sit out the 2012 season and still have three seasons of eligibility, likely replacing Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick after next season and joining a depth chart that’s filling quickly, thanks to players like KeiVarae Russell, Will Mahone, Cam Roberson, George Atkinson, and Cam McDaniel.

Garry Paskwietz of WeAreSC.com didn’t downplay the loss of Carlisle, talking glowingly about his “explosive playmaking ability that Lane Kiffin likes plus he also brings an element of toughness so his future was bright in terms of playing time.”

After worrying that the loss of running backs coach Tim Hinton would cost the Irish the commitment of Mahone, reeling in a running back that was one of the top 100 players in the 2011 recruiting class and impressed early in a Trojan backfield filled with highly touted players is just a gigantic victory. After years of not pulling a single significant scholarship transfer, the Irish have now pulled in two blue-chip prospects that had the Irish No. 2 at Signing Day, only to come back to Notre Dame after choosing at another school. If that doesn’t speak to the dedication of this coaching staff on the recruiting trail, I’m not sure what does.

Carlisle will participate in spring drills with the Irish.