One of the most highly-touted members of Notre Dame’s 2015 recruiting class will continue his collegiate playing career at a slightly lower level of football.
Illinois State announced Wednesday that Josh Barajas has been added to the Redbirds roster as a transfer. According to the school, Barajas is already on campus “and will join the rest of his new teammates when the Redbirds officially begin fall practice in late July.”
Because ISU plays at the FCS level, the linebacker will be eligible to play immediately in 2017. Including this season, Barajas will have three years of eligibility remaining.
“We knew a lot about Josh coming out of high school, having played at Andrean High School with Tylor Petkovich,” head coach Brock Spack said in a statement. “He was a very good player coming out of high school and landed at Notre Dame, but felt he needed a new start.
“We felt he would be a great fit for our system and give us a lot of flexibility at the linebacker position as a possible pass rusher. He can really play in space outside, but he is athletic enough to play inside or outside for us.”
A four-star signee, Barajas was rated as the No. 9 outside linebacker; the No. 1 player at any position in the state of Indiana; and the No. 137 player on 247Sports.com’s composite board. He was the highest-rated player on the defensive side of the ball in the Fighting Irish’s class that year.
That recruiting pedigree didn’t translate onto the field, however, as Barajas played in nine games last season after redshirting as a true freshman. He was not credited with any tackles, or any other statistic for that matter.