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Notre Dame Football: Wide receiver Xavier Watts moved to ROVER linebacker

And other roster news

University of Notre Dame vs Stanford University Photo by David E. Klutho /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Brian Kelly’s Thursday quick chat with the media provided some massive updates to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish roster and depth chart.

Here are the moves and news:

Position Change

Sophomore WR Xavier Watts is being moved to the other side of the ball to play ROVER. When Watts was being recruited, there was talk about him possibly playing safety in college — but there was never any discussion of him at linebacker until today.

Notre Dame’s linebacking crew has took a huge hit since August because of injuries, but WR Lawrence Keys just quit a thin group yesterday — which Brian Kelly confirmed. The staff must really have some trust in guys like Lorenzo Styles and Deion Colzie (and Jayden Thomas for that matter) for this move to be made.

Watts will now wear #26 instead of #2 since safety D.J. Brown wears #2. Watts was #82 last season.

Prince Kollie will now move inside and train at the WILL (which was on the original depth chart for the week).

Joe Wilkins will play at the slot behind Avery Davis, and Deion Colzie will play the W behind Kevin Austin. Jayden Thomas is a “swing guy” according to Kelly.

Injury update

Kelly updated the recent injury news:

  • Offensive Tackle Blake Fisher out 8 weeks following knee meniscus surgery.
  • Linebacker Shayne Simon out for the year with shoulder labrum tear.

Running back Logan Diggs will be available this week against Toledo. Diggs was unavailable against Florida State (the COVID assumption) along with defensive end Jordan Botelho and running back C’Bo Flemister. Both Botelho and Flemister will till be unavailable this week.