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Notre Dame Football: How will the Irish get down to 85 scholarships in 2019?

Notre Dame needs about 7 scholarship spots to open up in 2019.

brock wright notre dame
Brock Wright
Mike Miller/One Foot Down

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are facing a huge numbers crunch in 2019 — just as they did in 2018. On paper though, this time around may be a bit more difficult to get to that magical 85 number.

Currently, the Irish are sitting 6 over the limit with a very good possibility of adding 1 or 2 more by national signing day in February. So how are the Irish going to shed itself of 7 or 8 scholarships for 2019?

It’s not going to be easy. In fact, this is a pretty difficult situation, so we need to take a moment and mention... I am not wishing away ANY player on the current roster. Just because we talk about or mention certain players in terms of leaving the program (in one form or another) it shouldn’t be took as a personal shot.

We are, however... going to mention some names now. It’s important to remember a few things before we begin:

  • Notre Dame doesn’t have to get down to 85 until August.
  • It’s “graduate transfer” and not “5th year transfer.” You don’t need to be entering your 5th year to be able to use the graduate transfer rule that allows immediate eligibility.

I’m just going to go down each eligibility year, and offer up some possibilities. You can follow in the scholarship chart below.


Of the six 5th year players, we should probably only expect Micah Dew-Treadway to move on. Trevor Ruhland, Miles Boykin, Shaun Crawford, Chris Finke, and Asmar Bilal will all be returning starters in 2019.


There are 5 names of note here:

  • Devin Studstill S
  • Donte Vaughn CB
  • Jonathan Jones LB
  • Javon McKinley WR
  • D.J. Morgan LB

Again, depending upon their academic situations, they could possibly transfer this summer and be eligible to play right away. In the case of Jones and McKinley, they have 2 years of eligibility remaining.

In all of these cases, it will probably come down to available minutes of playing time moving forward.


It starts to get trickier here. There are 3 guys that might never see the field under current conditions. They might feel like moving on elsewhere — and then again, maybe they don’t or maybe they want that Notre Dame degree more.

  • Kofi Wardlow DE
  • Isaiah Robertson LB
  • Darnell Ewell OL

Wardlow is still a project, Robertson is on his 3rd position switch, and Ewell has a lot of personal things going on (as well as a position change).

A couple of others that could be interesting:

  • Drew White LB
  • Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB

The biggest reason they are listed here is because of Notre Dame’s almost relentless way in which they are recruiting linebackers right now. Is there a future in South Bend?


And this is where we stop listing names. With only one year on campus, it’s too hard to determine right now if anyone in this class wants to move on from Notre Dame. I wouldn’t be shocked if one or two transfer — but there is nothing that comes close to even suggesting this right now.


So we just listed 11 names for 7 or 8 potential spots. While I believe those names are the most likely, it doesn’t mean I expect most of them to move on either. Again... Notre Dame has to get down to 85 by AUGUST. That’s 8 months away still, but we still need to keep track of this situation as we move towards spring football and beyond.

2019 Notre Dame Football Scholarship Chart

Position/Year Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior 5th Year
Position/Year Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior 5th Year
Quarterback Brendon Clark Phil Jurkovec* Ian Book*
Running Back Kyren Williams Jahmir Smith*, C'Bo Flemister* Jafar Armstrong* Tony Jones Jr.*
Tight End ⭐️ George Takacs*, Tommy Tremble* Cole Kmet, Brock Wright
Wide Receiver Cam Hart, Kendall Abdur-Rahman Micah Jones*, Kevin Austin, Braden Lenzy*, Lawrence Keys III*, Joe Wilkins Jr.* Michael Young, Isaiah Robertson Chase Claypool, Javon McKinley* Chris Finke
Center Zeke Correll Jarrett Patterson* Trevor Ruhland
Guard John Olmstead John Dirksen* Dillan Gibbons*, Aaron Banks* Tommy Kraemer*
Tackle Andrew Kristofic, Quinn Carroll Cole Mabry* Robert Hainsey, Josh Lugg* Liam Eichenberg*
Defensive Tackle Jacob Lacey, Hunter Spears Jayson Ademilola, Ja'mion Franklin* Kurt Hinish, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa*
Defensive End Howard Cross, NaNa Osafo-Mensah, Isaiah Foskey Justin Ademilola*, Ovie Oghoufo* Kofi Wardlow* Ade Ogundeji*, Daelin Hayes, Khalid Kareem, Julian Okwara, Jamir Jones
Linebacker Jack Kiser, Osi Ekwonu, Marist Luifau, JD Bertrand Matt Bauer, Jack Lamb*, Shayne Simon, Paul Moala Drew White*, Jordan Genmark Heath, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah* Jonathan Jones* Asmar Bilal
Safety Litchfield Ajavon, Kyle Hamilton D.J. Brown* Jalen Elliott, Alohi Gilman*
Cornerback K.J. Wallace, Isaiah Rutherford Tariq Bracy, Houston Griffith Avery Davis* Troy Pride Jr., Donte Vaughn Shaun Crawford**
Specialists Jay Bramblett John Doerer John Shannon*
22/85 (22) 46/85 (24) 63/85 (17) 80/85 (17) 84/85 (4)
*Eligible For 5th Year **Eligible For 6th Year Rovers count as LB’s