Alize’ Jones is academically ineligible for the 2016 season. This isn’t shocking news that a Notre Dame football player has found himself on the ineligible side of eligibility right before the football camp season begins. In fact, at this point, we could pencil in just about any name on the Notre Dame roster and I’d be all, “yep, that school load gonna get ya man.”
I have no real idea how bright Alize’ Jones is when is comes to the classroom, and at the risk of turning in my Notre Dame fan card, I don’t really care too much either. These kind of things happen, and sometimes we never really know all the facts as to why a kid struggles. With all that’s given to them, it’s fair to expect them to do what they are supposed to do, and with all that’s expected of them, it’s also fair to assume that sometimes, some of these players may fall short at times. That’s life.
With all that said, this is a major blow to the Notre Dame offense. Argue all you want about the depth at tight end and all the weapons that Notre Dame has amassed, but the truth of the matter is that no player at the position was more naturally-talented and athletically-gifted.
Jones represented a true hybrid in which Brian Kelly could put him anywhere on the offensive side of the ball and use him as a pass-catching threat. He was poised for a big year after seeing a few glimpses in his freshman year. At present, the roster may not have another player like him, and that will present somewhat of a challenge to the offense as it will need “all hands on deck” to overcome the redzone woes of the recent past.
The good news is that Jones isn’t going anywhere. He will stay enrolled in the school and work towards his goals as a student, an athlete, and a person.
These are the times we live in as Notre Dame football fans. We expect Brian Kelly to recruit just about anyone in the country, and sometimes that means a player may not be 100% ready for school life at a school like Notre Dame. That doesn’t mean AT ALL that they can’t or won’t be able to at some point, but it shouldn’t surprise us when they don’t. What can surprise us is the way that these players respond, and judging by the social media responses of Jones (sometimes that’s all we have in 2016) his response is to fight and to win.