One of Notre Dame’s candidates for a breakout season won’t see the field this year. Rising sophomore Alizé Jones has been declared ineligible, an assumed academic casualty just days before training camp is set to begin.
The news comes from Notre Dame’s sports information department, who released the following via social media:
Jones released the following statement via Twitter:
“Notre Dame is a special place and playing football for the Irish is a privilege. With this opportunity comes academic responsibility, and unfortunately, I didn’t meet that responsibility.
“I love Notre Dame and everything about it. Obviously, I’m disappointed at myself, but I’m going to make the best of this situation. I’m going to remain a student at Notre Dame and work even harder. I’m going to grow from this. I’m going to be a better student, teammate, player and man. While I won’t be able to help my brothers on Saturdays, I’ll do whatever I can to help this team achieve its goal of winning a national championship.
It’s a surprising jolt to a very ho-hum offseason, especially after Brian Kelly’s last update stated that all seemed quiet on the academic front. But the loss of Jones forces the staff to pivot and look for a replacement to the sophomore presumed productivity, either at tight end or the boundary receiver position.
Brian Kelly will address the media on Friday to kick off fall camp, when we’ll likely hear more about Jones’ suspension. The Irish welcome back tight end Tyler Luatua to go along with Durham Smythe and Nic Weishar and newly converted tight end Jacob Matuska, but cross-trained Jones at Corey Robinson‘s spot at the boundary receiver position after Robinson retired due to concussions.
Jones led all of Notre Dame’s returning pass catchers in yards per reception in 2015, catching 13 passes for 190 yards. He was one of the nation’s top tight end recruits when he picked Notre Dame after being committed to UCLA.