Notre Dame’s thinnest offensive line position got a bit thinner with sophomore center Luke Jones’ intentions to transfer, announced by Irish head coach Brian Kelly on Saturday.
“He feels like Notre Dame is not the best place for him,” Kelly said.
Jones did not play in 2018 as a freshman, and this spring he was competing with early-enrolled freshman Zeke Correll to be the backup center behind converted-tackle Jarrett Patterson, who himself has four years of eligibility remaining.
To put that more simply, Jones’ chances of playing at center either in 2019 or down the line looked slim, and that was the position where he had the best chance to play in the first place.
Originally committed to Arkansas, Jones flipped to the Irish in the last month of Harry Hiestand’s time as offensive line coach. Jeff Quinn then shepherded Jones to National Signing Day, widely-seen as an early indication of Quinn’s capabilities as a recruiter, along with the late commitment of Patterson.
With this transfer, Notre Dame now has 87 scholarship players expected in the fall, needing to have no more than 85 by Labor Day. That includes senior safety Devin Studstill’s transfer, initially announced at the beginning of spring practice but then without a destination. He committed to South Florida on Friday.