We’ve heard from four of the five suspended Notre Dame football players, with DaVaris Daniels, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams all acknowledging that they’re out for the season. But Brian Kelly gave an update on safety Eilar Hardy‘s status, opening a window for his return to the roster.
“We have some work to do in terms of some of his academic work that he’s working on right now in terms of trying to get that organized,” Kelly said. “If we’re able to get some of those things organized, we’re going to bring back Eilar to practice after we get back from our bye.
“We have some things to work on that he’s working on right now, some of his classes, things of that nature. But I’ve invited him back to the roster to practice and then we’ll take it from there.”
Hardy was the fifth player implicated in the academic scandal that initially included just four players. And while we don’t know whether this development means Hardy’s violation of the Honor Code was any less than the other four, assuming Hardy can return to play after the bye week might just be premature.
Irish Illustrated’s Pete Sampson reports ($) that Hardy also received a two-semester suspension from Notre Dame. But Hardy could be finishing his course work needed to graduate from Notre Dame this semester, opening the door for him to transfer to another program with immediate eligibility.
With the depth chart at safety badly in need of some reinforcements, Hardy would be a welcome addition to not just the playing field but the practice field. Kelly was non-committal about anything more than practice, but it could be a mutually beneficial situation for both Hardy and the Irish, giving the safety a chance to stay in shape before a transfer at the semester break and the Irish another practice body.
Hardy’s future in football is also interesting. A knee injury suffered during camp kept him off the field during his freshman season. He didn’t play as a sophomore either, with lingering issues and a restocked depth chart having him buried. While purely speculation, two seasons missed could give him the opportunity for not just one year as a transfer, but potentially two if a medical redshirt pans out.
Hardy has yet to make any statement, though he was active on Twitter Thursday evening, retweeting news reports of his return to the practice field, while also tweeting, “God is real.”