The Notre Dame Fighting Irish had a pretty bad November, and their December isn't getting off to a very good start as long-time running back commit, Markese Stepp decommitted from the 2018 recruiting class.
According to Notre Dame insiders, academics seem to be a reason here - although nothing specific has been mentioned. Irish running back coach Autry Denson was visiting Stepp the other day.
It's unclear where Stepp might end up at, but he had offers from all over the country at quite a few big-time programs - so I'm sure you'll hear his name a few times over the next few months and then for the next few years.
Moving forward, Notre Dame has ZERO running backs that it is actively targeting right now. If Josh Adams leaves for the NFL after this year (which is very likely) the Irish will have 5 running backs on the roster next year in Dexter Williams, Tony Jones Jr., Deon McIntosh, and C.J. Holmes.
While these things are never a fun event, there are a few things to consider:
- Academics will always be a pitfall for the Irish here and there.
- Stepp wants to be at ND, so hating on him in private would be cruel.
- Hating on Stepp in public (e.g. social media) would be the move of a major tool / jerk / douchebag.
- Running backs are everywhere. Stepp is certainly very talented, but you can find a running back in many different places and the direct need next year is small.
2018 Notre Dame Football Scholarship Chart
|Quarterback||Phil Jurkovec||Avery Davis*||Ian Book*||Brandon Wimbush*|
|Running Back||Jahmir Smith, C'Bo Flemister||Jafar Armstrong*||Tony Jones Jr.*||Dexter Williams|
|Tight End||George Takacs, Tommy Tremble||Cole Kmet, Brock Wright||Alize' Mack*||Nic Weishar|
|Wide Receiver||Micah Jones, Kevin Austin, Braden Lenzy, Lawrence Keys III||Michael Young||Chase Claypool, Javon McKinley*||Chris Finke*, Miles Boykin*|
|Center||Luke Jones||Sam Mustipher|
|Guard||John Dirksen||Dillan Gibbons*||Tommy Kraemer*||Trevor Ruhland*||Alex Bars|
|Tackle||Cole Mabry, Jarrett Patterson||Josh Lugg*, Robert Hainsey, Aaron Banks*||Liam Eichenberg*|
|Defensive Tackle||Jayson Ademilola, Ja'mion Franklin||Kurt Hinish, Darnell Ewell*, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa||Micah Dew-Treadway*, Jerry Tillery||Jonathan Bonner|
|Defensive End||Justin Ademilola||Kofi Wardlow*||Ade Ogundeji*, Daelin Hayes, Khalid Kareem, Julian Okwara|
|Linebacker||Matt Bauer, Ovio Oghoufo, Jack Lamb||Drew White*, Jordan Genmark Heath||Jonathan Jones*, Jamir Jones, DJ Morgan||Te'von Coney||Drue Tranquill|
|Rover||Shayne Simon||Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah*, Isaiah Robertson||Asmar Bilal|
|Safety||Derrik Allen, Paul Moala, Houston Griffith||Devin Studstill, Jalen Elliott, Alohi Gilman*||Nicco Fertitta, Nick Coleman|
|Cornerback||Joe Wilkins Jr., Tariq Bracy, D.J. Brown, Noah Boykin||Julian Love, Troy Pride Jr., Donte Vaughn||Shaun Crawford**|
|Specialists||John Doerer||John Shannon*||Justin Yoon||Tyler Newsome|
|27/85 (27)||45/85 (18)||65/85 (20)||79/85 (14)||85/85 (6)|
Notre Dame continues to recruit very hard for this class. The numbers game still needs to be played, but as we get closer and closer to the early signing day of December 20, that landscape will start to take shape.
In other "decommit" news... former Irish CB commit Kalon Gervin committed to the Michigan State Spartans today: