Notre Dame transfer follows Kelly to LSU

Notre Dame transfer follows Kelly to LSU

The pieces were already in place for Notre Dame punter Jay Bramblett to transfer following the 2021 season before Brian Kelly left for LSU.  Bramblett was announced on senior day and the Irish offered Bryce McPherson a scholarship that senior day weekend.

Bramblett will now be getting a fresh start elsewhere but he won’t be getting a new head coach or special teams coordinator as he’s heading to LSU to play for Kelly and former Notre Dame special teams coach Brian Polian.

Bramblett averaged 44.1 yards per punt this past season and had a long of 72-yards.

Notre Dame now turns their attention at punter to McPherson, who wound up signing with the Irish despite being a one-time Wake Forest commitment.

Related:

Notre Dame transfer portal tracker (2022)

Notre Dame football coaching staff tracker

Notre Dame offers 2023 Virginia star athlete

A very intriguing offer out east

New Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman has been starting to put his stamp on the Irish program and it has to do with recruiting at the moment. His first game coaching as the Irish’s new leader was all roses in the first half, then the storm of the second half rolled in and ruined his bid for an opening salvo win.

That hasn’t stopped Freeman from hitting the recruiting trail hard and once again, he has made an offer to a high level athlete. This time it was Virginia’s  Tony Rojas, who dominated as a running back and linebacker this past year. It does look like Rojas will be a linebacker when he arrives at a college campus but it is hard to really know at this junction.

So far Rojas has offers from Oklahoma, Penn State, Ole Miss and Virginia Tech while he recently took a visit to North Carolina.

Another honor for Notre Dame’s star freshman offensive lineman

Who would have thought this would have happened before the season started

Not many of us thought that offensive tackle Joe Alt would made a contribution to the team for a few years. The converted tight end from Minnesota was looked at as more of a project, but that wasn’t how it turned out to be.

After an injury to fellow classmate Blake Fisher, Alt was thrown to the wolves, but he didn’t act like a pup. Actually, once Alt was added to the starting offensive line, the run game looked like last years and the offense took off.

Already garnering multiple Freshman All-American honors, Alt received yet another one today, as he was named to the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American first-team.

A very bright future for Alt and the Irish offensive line over at minimum the next two seasons.

Notre Dame loses another assistant – this one to ACC

Marcus Freeman suddenly has another assistant coaching hire to make

Marcus Freeman did a tremendous job initially keeping his staff together at Notre Dame but has hit a bit of turbulence this past week.  Earlier in the week prized defensive line coach Mike Elston departed for the same role at Michigan and as of Sunday morning, run game coordinator and running backs coach Lance Taylor is officially headed out of town.

Taylor is leaving Notre Dame to become the offensive coordinator at Louisville, a rumor that started to swirl Saturday night.

Taylor’s track record at Notre Dame speaks for itself as he helped develop Tony Jones, Jr. into an NFL back in 2019 and helped Kyren Williams emerge as one of the best running backs in college football the last two seasons.

Furthermore, Taylor has done a tremendous job upping the talent level at the position as he’s been a strong recruiter for Notre Dame.

The move makes sense for Taylor as he’ll get to call plays at Louisville, something Tommy Rees is blocking him from doing at Notre Dame.  It’s a move that makes complete sense for Taylor and not say Freeman won’t find a stellar replacement, but Taylor has some very big shoes to fill both in coaching and recruiting.

Related:

2022 Notre Dame coaching staff tracker

Report: Louisville targeting key Notre Dame assistant

How much would this hurt?

Marcus Freeman could soon be looking for a third assistant coach vacancy to fill if Scott Satterfield and Louisville end up making a reported possible move.  Satterfield is looking for a new offensive coordinator and FootballScoop reported Saturday that Notre Dame running backs coach and run game coordinator Lance Taylor is a possibility.

“Notre Dame’s Lance Taylor, the Irish’s running backs coach and run game coordinator, has emerged as a top target for the offensive coordinator position on Scott Satterfield’s Louisville staff, multiple sources close to both programs told FootballScoop.”

Taylor has been key in Notre Dame’s growth at running back in recent years and is a star on the rise.  After playing collegiately at Alabama he has coached the likes of Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love at Stanford while also coaching the wide receivers with the Carolina Panthers before starting at Notre Dame in 2019.

Related – Notre Dame coaching staff tracker 2022

Football Scoop made it clear that this isn’t a done deal and that Taylor is one of at least three key targets for Satterfield and Louisville.

It’s a potential move that would make sense for Taylor in his career as its obvious that with Tommy Rees around that calling the offense simply won’t be made available to Taylor at Notre Dame anytime soon.

If the move were to end up happening it’d be a significant one as Notre Dame wouldn’t lose just a strong coach in terms of development but also a very strong recruiter.

Related:

Notre Dame transfer portal tracker 

Kyren Williams through the years at Notre Dame

Notre Dame loses key assistant to rival program

Former Notre Dame standout stymies carjacking at daycare center

Notre Dame standout plays hero outside daycare

Notre Dame fans remember Robert Blanton as a standout cornerback early in the Brian Kelly years.  Blanton played for the Irish from 2008-2011 where he intercepted eight passes in 50 career games before being drafted by the Minnesota Vikings and playing in the NFL for six seasons.

Blanton’s football playing days are over as he now owns a daycare in the Minneapolis suburbs.  It was there this week that Blanton stopped a carjacking from happening as he helped a woman fend off would-be carjackers.

Video of the story and an interview with Blanton can be seen below courtesy of CBS Minneapolis.

Props to Blanton for saving the day.

Related:

2022 Notre Dame transfer portal tracker

Notre Dame football coaching staff tracker

Recruiting side of Notre Dame losing Elston to Michigan

Buckle up, this could be a bit of a rough ride for a little bit…

I was asked on Twitter if you could consider Notre Dame and Michigan true rivals since the two no longer play each other anywhere near annually.

To anyone in the know of either program the obvious answer is yes and Mike Elston leaving Notre Dame for his alma mater is the latest chapter in that rivalry that has been fought as much off the field as it has been on.  Notre Dame clearly takes a hit in terms of having a star coach on the defensive line but also a star recruiter.

Elston has been a successful recruiter for years but was key in two of the biggest commitments in Notre Dame’s top-ranked class of 2023:  defensive linemen Keon Keeley of Florida and Brenan Vernon of Ohio.

Related:  Meet Notre Dame’s star-studded 2023 recruiting class commitments

Like any good coach, Elston is successful in recruiting because of relationships he develops.  If you aren’t able to form relationships you aren’t going to succeed at the task, its as simple as that and obvious Elston does.

That means you can bet your bottom dollar that Elston will be quick to pursue both Keeley and Vernon in the days and weeks to come.  As hard as Notre Dame worked to get those commitments, Marcus Freeman and his staff will have to work just as hard and perhaps even harder to keep them.

The Elston news certainly wasn’t what any Notre Dame observer expected or wanted and it’ll leave a bit of a rough patch that will certainly need smoothing by Freeman and company.

Rivalry on, even if the head-to-head games aren’t.

Related:

Notre Dame football coaching staff tracker (updated 1.13.2022)

Joel Klatt’s ‘way too early’ top 10 for 2022 

Veteran Notre Dame football walk-on earns scholarship

A great day for a FORMER member of the @WOPUnation! #goIrish

Notre Dame has added a scholarship wide receiver to the position group that most needs depth on the roster ahead of the 2022 football season.

Well, they awarded a scholarship to a player that has been wearing blue and gold for sometime now in Matt Salerno.  Salerno served as Notre Dame’s punt returner in 2020 before Kyren Williams took over the duties this past season.  Salerno also served that role in the Fiesta Bowl as Williams didn’t participate in that contest.

Salerno contributed in part on special teams in 2021, returning a pair of kickoffs in the Navy game for a combined 33 yards while he also caught one pass this year for a loss of four yards.

Salerno will be a fifth-year senior in 2022, making him the third such wide receiver on the roster, joining Joe Wilkins and Braden Lenzy.

It’s not even technically an addition but its still exciting to see a member of the Walk-On Players Union (WOPU) get rewarded for their endless efforts throughout their career.

Related: 

Notre Dame football coaching staff tracker (2022)

Notre Dame football coaching staff tracker

Notre Dame star seemingly speaks on Elston’s shocking departure

Foskey has spoken and it’s all positive…

Just last week Notre Dame star defensive lineman Isaiah Foskey announced that he would be returning to school for another year, a huge win for the Fighting Irish defense.  What Foskey likely had no idea of at that time was that he would be playing for a new defensive line coach in 2022.

That surprising news came down Thursday afternoon as reports surfaced that defensive line coach Mike Elston is leaving Notre Dame for a similar position on Michigan’s coaching staff.

Related – Notre Dame football coaching staff tracker (2022)

Foskey took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon to share a tweet seemingly in regards to Elston’s surprising departure:

It’s a sign of staying positive for Foskey, who almost certainly was talked into staying another year by Elston.

Foskey recorded 10 sacks in 2021 and figures to be in store for another huge season in 2022.

Related:

Notre Dame all-time single season sack leaders

Breaking: Notre Dame loses key assistant to rival

Make no bones about it, this is a big loss for Notre Dame.

Some things are too good to be true.  The fact Marcus Freeman was able to retain Mike Elston as his defensive line coach after Brian Kelly’s departure came as a bit of a surprise due to the amount of time they spent together but Elston will now indeed be leaving Notre Dame, but it won’t be to coach the defensive line at LSU.

Elston is leaving Notre Dame to coach the defensive line at Michigan.

Elston had been at Notre Dame since 2010 when he came with Brian Kelly from Cincinnati.  In that time he’s helped turned Notre Dame’s defensive line into one of the best in the nation on a seemingly annual basis and has helped recruit the unit extremely well while also doing a fantastic job developing star talent.

Related – Notre Dame coaching staff tracker

Elston heads to his alma mater where he played linebacker in the mid-nineties.

It’s not to say that Marcus Freeman can’t find a stellar replacement at the position but this loss certainly stings as Elston is fantastic in his role.

Related:

An early look at Notre Dame’s 2022 schedule

Notre Dame 2022 transfer portal tracker