Notre Dame running backs Jafar Armstrong and Jahmir Smith and offensive lineman Colin Grunhard announced intentions Saturday to continue their playing careers elsewhere.
Armstrong and Grunhard are seniors, hailing from Roeland Park, Kansas’ Bishop Miege High School. Smith, an early enrollee in January 2018, played at Lee County High School in Sanford, N.C. All three are expected to graduate from Notre Dame in 2021.
Armstrong rushed 17 times for 8 total yards this year, catching an additional three passes for 38 yards in 11 games of action.
Smith left the team in October, citing a desire to improving his mental health.
Grunhard appeared in three games this year — Duke, South Florida and Syracuse — as a center. He has two years of eligibility remaining.
It has been an honor to attend and play football for the University of Notre Dame the last 3.5 years. I have so much to be thankful for and love this place, but it is time for me to move on. I have entered the transfer portal to start a MBA and play two more seasons of football. pic.twitter.com/0giBSLcqqd— Colin Grunhard (@Colingrun) January 2, 2021
Grunhard, the son of former Notre Dame offensive lineman Tim Grunhard, had offers from smaller schools but opted to join the Irish as a preferred walk-on instead. Grunhard earned a scholarship before the Camping World Bowl in December 2019.
Armstrong, by contrast, had offers from Baylor, Illinois, Kansas, Kansas State, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Northern Illinois, Northwestern and South Dakota, Western Michigan, Wyoming. He was committed to Missouri before flipping to the Irish.
“Me and Jafar, we’ve been friends since freshman year of high school, so you know it’s almost eight years now,” Grunhard told the university’s student newspaper last month. “The biggest thing in high school was that we both loved playing football, and we both knew we were gonna play at the next level at some place, and Jafar had offers everywhere. The biggest thing that kind of kept us together was just loving the University of Notre Dame, and then the athletics, the academics and the history.”
Smith held scholarship offers from 27 schools, including USC, Wisconsin and several Ivy League schools.
For his career, Armstrong had 135 rushing attempts for 513 yards (3.8 yards per attempt) and nine touchdowns. He added another 30 catches for 294 yards (9.8 yards per catch).
Smith had 53 carries for 223 yards (4.2 yards per attempt) and two touchdowns. He also had a catch against Stanford his freshman year.