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Notre Dame Football: The scholarship crunch for 2020 is still a thing

And it’s August

Bowling Green v Notre Dame Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

We are almost done with the first week of August and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish still have a “scholarship problem” on paper. The words, “on paper” are significantly important here. While we (you, me, and everyone else) may not know what’s going on inside the Gug with the count — but Brian Kelly and his staff probably do.

But what looks like an actual season around the corner, the problem on paper sticks out like a sore thumb. So — let’s get into it. Here’s Notre Dame’s scholarship count for the 2020 season:

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

According to the chart, the Irish are 3 scholarships over the limit — according to the chart. Missing from this chart are Mick Assaf and Colin Grunhard. Both are walk-ons that were given scholarships last season, but it is still very unclear if both will be on scholarship for 2020. If that is the case, then that number shoots up to 5.

There is a big difference between 3 and 5 — especially in August. With 3 players, I think we could bank on them being medical hardships, but 5 seems pretty extreme.

By all accounts, there doesn’t appear to be any players missing as we would have heard about them by now. The post-spring transfer attrition that normally happens wasn’t there, but it’s hard to imagine anyone announcing a transfer here in the next few days (if you were just about ready to name guys that might transfer because of playing time or whatever).

So here’s a question for you... is Notre Dame buying time in case a spring season is announced? If the season is moved to spring, there’s no reason to worry about the numbers now, and in fact, it’s likely that there will be some players that won’t play in the spring and will prepare for the NFL Draft.

That, of course, is just a theory — a very far out there theory.

A lot of the questions that we have about Notre Dame football and the 2020 season at large, should be answered in the coming days, but this one just seems strange. The numbers always work out by July, but not this year.