For the second time in a week, the Irish have lost a member of the football team to transfer. Freshman Derek Roback will be transferring to Ohio University, IrishIllustrated.com is reporting and the South Bend Tribune‘s Eric Hansen has confirmed after speaking with head coach Brian Kelly.
Roback was one of the last commitments to Notre Dame last year, pledging to the Irish after receiving an offer from Kelly and staff in January. He had been committed to play quarterback at Toledo before receiving the Irish offer, but was brought in by the Irish as an athlete looking for a position.
“Just my versatility,” Roback told IrishIllustrated.com back in January about what Kelly saw when he offered Roback a scholarship. “He said we’ll figure where I’ll play later. He knows I can help this team somewhere.”
Roback’s days at quarterback were gone after his commitment to the Irish, and he was supplying depth at safety for the Irish during the first few months of his career. But Roback’s transfer to Ohio University was to try and get back to playing quarterback.
“Really wants to give quarterback a shot,” Kelly told Hansen. “Great kid. Wish him well.“
Because the season began, Roback’s scholarship will not be reassigned to anyone within the program, but it will open a slot for next year, something that’ll likely come in very handy with the recruiting class already close to capacity. Adding in both Shaquelle Evans and Roback, the Irish will now likely be able to stretch their recruiting class to 20-22 prospects, with 16 commitments already in hand.