While Notre Dame doesn’t comment on redshirts or eligibility, it appears that running back Greg Bryant‘s freshman season, where he participated in three early games, will not start his eligibility clock. The running back from Delray Beach, Florida confirmed as much on his Twitter account yesterday afternoon.
While the news feels a bit like minutiae for all but the most hardcore Irish fans, it’s actually quite an important distinction for the Irish roster moving forward. Bryant, one of the elite running backs in last year’s recruiting cycle, now essentially becomes a part of the 2014 signing class, erasing the loss of Elijah Hood, who was committed to the Irish early in the process before deciding to stay home in North Carolina.
The running back depth chart is one of the more top heavy positions on the Irish roster. Both Cam McDaniel and George Atkinson will be seniors next season, playing their final season of eligibility. Amir Carlisle will be as well, though he has an additional year because he sat out the 2012 season with an injury after being granted immediate eligibility. Will Mahone did not compete during 2012, then didn’t see the field this season because of an ankle injury. After an excellent freshman campaign, Tarean Folston will be a sophomore.
Bryant will still be listed as a sophomore on the roster as well. He underwent knee surgery after tearing his meniscus, after getting just three carries this season. With some shakeup coming on the offensive staff, it’ll be a nice fresh start for a player many think is the most talented runner on the team.