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Notre Dame Football: N.C. State Cornerback Nick McCloud transfers to the Irish

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This is really big for Notre Dame and Mike Mickens

East Carolina v North Carolina State Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish added a HUGE piece to its defensive back depth when cornerback Nick McCloud announced that he is using a graduate transfer to leave the N.C. State Wolfpack to head to South Bend for his final year.

McCloud was a two year starter for the Wolfpack, and was named a captain for the 2019 season. Unfortunately for Nick, he was injured early in the 2019 season and missed the rest of the year. McCloud played in 10 games as a freshman, and 13 as a sophomore before becoming a starter in 2018. Nick has 105 tackles and 3 interceptions in his college career.

McCloud put his name in the transfer portal back in January, but it wasn’t until the last month that news of mutual interest between Nick and Notre Dame started to come out. The addition of Mike Mickens as the cornerbacks coach for the Irish as both a developer and acquirer of talent is already paying out for Notre Dame.

The Irish have some numbers at cornerback, but only Shaun Crawford and TaRiq Bracy return with any real game experience in 2020. The hope was that one of the younger corners would develop enough to allow more nickel play from Shaun Crawford (his greatest asset) but without a spring practice due to the coronavirus pandemic — there was no way to have any certainty of that notion.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 28 NC State at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Should he win the job, McCloud is a perfect fit to play the boundary corner at 6’1” and 190 pounds which would allow Bracy and Crawford at the field corner.

There is a bit of a “numbers game” going on with the Irish right now on the roster. With the addition of McCloud, Notre Dame is now 2 over the 85 man limit — and they may not be done adding to the 2020 team. Most reports indicate that Notre Dame leads to gain the commitment from former Stanford Cardinal running back Trevor Speights as another grad transfer. The Irish have already added grad transfers for 2020 in safety Isaiah Pryor from the Ohio State Buckeyes and wide receiver Bennett Skowronek from the Northwestern Wildcats.

2020 Notre Dame Football Scholarship Chart

Position / Year Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior 5th Year
Position / Year Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior 5th Year
Quarterback Drew Pyne Brendon Clark* - - Ian Book
Running Back Chris Tyree Kyren Williams* Jahmir Smith*, C'Bo Flemister* Jafar Armstrong*, Avery Davis* -
Tight End Michael Mayer, Kevin Bauman - George Takacs*, Tommy Tremble* Brock Wright -
Wide Receiver Jordan Johnson, Jay Brunelle, Xavier Watts Kendall Abdur-Rahman* Micah Jones*, Kevin Austin*, Braden Lenzy*, Lawrence Keys III*, Joe Wilkins* Javon McKinley, Bennett Skowronek
Center - Zeke Correll* Jarrett Patterson* - -
Guard - Hunter Spears* John Dirksen* Dillan Gibbons*, Aaron Banks* Tommy Kraemer, Colin Grunhard
Tackle Tosh Baker, Michael Carmody Andrew Kristofic*, Quinn Carroll* - Robert Hainsey, Josh Lugg* Liam Eichenberg
Defensive Tackle Aidan Keanaaina, Rylie Mills Howard Cross*, Jacob Lacey Jayson Ademilola, Ja'mion Franklin* Kurt Hinish, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa -
Defensive End Alexander Ehrensberger, Jordan Botelho NaNa Osafo-Mensah*, Isaiah Foskey* Justin Ademilola*, Ovie Oghoufo* Kofi Wardlow* Ade Ogundeji, Daelin Hayes
Linebacker - Jack Kiser*, Osita Ekwonu*, Marist Liufau*, JD Bertrand* Bo Bauer, Jack Lamb*, Shayne Simon, Paul Moala Drew White*, Jordan Genmark Heath, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah* -
Safety - Litchfield Ajavon*, Kyle Hamilton D.J. Brown*, Houston Griffith Isaiah Pryor* -
Cornerback Clarance Lewis, Caleb Offord, Ramon Henderson K.J. Wallace*, Isaiah Rutherford*, Cam Hart*, TaRiq Bracy - Shaun Crawford**, Nick McCloud
Specialists Alex Peitsch (LS) Jay Bramblett - Jonathan Doerer -
Totals 17/85 (17) 38/85 (21) 60/85 (22) 75/85 (15) 85/85 (10)
*Eligible For 5th Year **Eligible For 6th Year

The addition of McCloud should be great news for Irish fans that have clamored for help in the secondary in 2020. With all the starters returning on the offensive line and Ian Book coming back for his 5th year, Notre Dame is showing that they intend to do whatever they can to compete for a playoff spot and national championship in 2020.