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Notre Dame Football: Safety D.J. Brown announces his return for final year with the Irish

A pleasant surprise

Stanford v Notre Dame Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

In a surprising move, Notre Dame safety D.J. Brown announced on Instagram that he is coming back to play one more year for the Irish.

The move was surprising because just about everything I’ve heard was that Brown had played his last down at Notre Dame, and would not pursue a sixth season in South Bend or anywhere else. Whatever needed to change — changed.

Brown has been a starter at safety and a rotational safety as well. Over the last two seasons, Brown has played in 24 games with 105 tackles and 3 interceptions.

After losing Peyton Bowen on signing day and with the probability that Brown was out the door, most felt Notre Dame needed two safeties from the transfer portal. The Irish gained a commitment from Thomas Harper, and with Brown’s announcement — the position is in decent shape heading into spring football, and Brown could be in contention for a “C” on his chest.

2023 Notre Dame Football Scholarship Chart

Position / Year Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior 5th/6th Year
Position / Year Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior 5th/6th Year
Quarterback Kenny Minchey Steve Angeli Tyler Buchner, Ron Powlus - Sam Hartman
Running Back Jeremiyah Love Jadarian Price, Gi'Bran Payne Audric Estime, Logan Diggs Chris Tyree -
Tight End Cooper Flanagan Eli Raridon, Holden Staes Mitchell Evans, Davis Sherwood Kevin Bauman -
Wide Receiver Braylon James, Rico Flores, Jaden Greathouse, Kaleb Smith Tobias Merriweather Deion Colzie, Lorenzo Styles, Jayden Thomas - Matt Salerno, Kaleb Smith
Center - Ashton Craig Pat Coogan - Zeke Correll
Guard Sam Pendleton, Joe Otting, Chris Terek Billy Schrauth Rocco Spindler - Andrew Kristofic
Tackle Sullivan Absher, Charles Jagusah Ty Chan, Aamil Wagner Blake Fisher, Joe Alt, Caleb Johnson Michael Carmody, Tosh Baker -
Defensive Tackle Boubacar Traore, Devan Houstan Tyson Ford, Donovan Hinish Gabe Rubio Aidan Keanaaina, Rylie Mills Howard Cross
Defensive End Brenan Vernon, Armel Mukam Joshua Burnham, Aiden Gobaira, Junior Tuihalamaka Jason Onye, Will Schweitzer Alexander Ehrensberger, Jordan Botelho NaNa Osafo-Mensah, Javontae Jean-Baptiste
Linebacker Drayk Bowen, Preston Zinter, Jaiden Ausberry Nolan Ziegler, Jaylen Sneed Prince Kollie - Jack Kiser, Marist Liufau, JD Bertrand
Safety Adon Shuler, Ben Minich, Brandyn Hillman - Justin Walters Xavier Watts, Ramon Henderson D.J. Brown, Thomas Harper
Cornerback Micah Bell, Christian Gray Jayden Mickey, Benjamin Morrison Ryan Barnes, Philip Riley, Chance Tucker Clarence Lewis Cam Hart
Specialists - Bryce McFerson (P) Josh Bryan (K) - Michael Vinson (LS), Spencer Shrader (K)
Totals 24/85 (24) 44/85 (20) 67/85 (23) 78/85 (11) 94/85 (16)
5th year eligibility moving forward is not represented on this chart due to COVID year. May be subject to change.