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Multiple concussions force Notre Dame DT Daniel Cage to take year off

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Notre Dame defensive tackle Daniel Cage intends to take a medical red shirt this season as he battles through a series of concussions and recovers from a knee surgery over the summer, according to Cage’s mother. Although he intends to continue his football career in the future, Cage could face the possibility of having to retire if recovery does not go as planned.

Cage was expected to make a full recovery from a scheduled knee surgery earlier this summer, according to Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. What was unknown at the time was Cage had been suffering from headaches ever since being diagnosed with a concussion last November. It was the third concussion Cage has suffered since joining the Notre Dame program, which has increased the cause for alarm in treating his football plans.

“He wants to make sure it’s safe for him,” Bionne Cage, Cage’s mother, said according to Irish Illustrated. “We don’t want to put him in an environment where it’s risking a long term effect for a short term goal. Right now his head aches, his knee is healing. The process has been overwhelming and he wants to make sure he’s OK.”

At this point, Cage needs to focus on recovering from his knee surgery and hope the impact of the concussions do not linger. He would have to be medically cleared to return to the playing field.

Doak Walker Award watch list highlighted by 2016 semifinalists Barkley and Pettway

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A watch list of the top running backs in the nation has been released by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum on Thursday. The Doak Walker Award watch list is full of great players, including 2016 Doak Walker Award semifinalists Saquon Barkley (Penn State) and Kamryn Pettway (Auburn).

Among those included on this year’s initial Doak Walker Award watch list (more players can be added at any time) are LSU’s Derrius Guice, Georgia’s Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, LJ Scott of Michigan State, Mike Weber of Ohio State, and Bo Scarbrough of Alabama, Washington’s Myles Gaskin, and Western Michigan’s Jarvion Franklin.

D’Onta Foreman of Texas beat out both Barkley and Pettway last season for the award. The Doak Walker Award has been presented to the nation’s top running back annually since 1990. Among the winners over the years have included Ricky Williams, LaDainian Tomlinson, Reggie Bush, and Montee Ball.

To be included on this watch list, the university athletic department must submit a nomination.

2017 Doak Walker Award Watch List

Josh Adams, Notre Dame
Ryquell Armstead, Temple
Kalen Ballage, Arizona State
Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Alex Barnes, Kansas State
Jamauri Bogan, Western Michigan
D’Angelo Brewer, Tulsa
Nick Chubb, Georgia
Jordan Chunn, Troy
Justin Crawford, West Virginia
Damarea Crockett, Missouri
Rico Dowdle, South Carolina
D’Andre Ferby, WKU
Kendrick Foster, Illinois
Jarvion Franklin, Western Michigan
Myles Gaskin, Washington
James Gilbert, Ball State
Derrius Guice, LSU
Damien Harris, Alabama
Kyle Hicks, TCU
Justice Hill, Oklahoma State
Jon Hilliman, Boston College
Justin Jackson, Northwestern
Chris James, Wisconsin
Ty Johnson, Maryland
Ronald Jones II, USC
Ray Lawry, Old Dominion
Phillip Lindsay, Colorado
Tonny Lindsey Jr., Utah State
Bryce Love, Stanford
Sony Michel, Georgia
Dedrick Mills, Georgia Tech
David Montgomery, Iowa State
Jamal Morrow, Washington State
Ryan Nall, Oregon State
Jacques Patrick, Florida State
Kamryn Pettway, Auburn
Demario Richard, Arizona State
Diocemy Saint Juste, Hawaii
Bo Scarbrough, Alabama
Jordan Scarlett, Florida
LJ Scott, Michigan State
Bradrick Shaw, Wisconsin
Armand Shyne, Utah
Justin Silmon, Kansas State
Ito Smith, Southern Miss
Rodney Smith, Minnesota
Benny Snell Jr., Kentucky
Terry Swanson, Toledo
Shaq Vann, Eastern Michigan
Akrum Wadley, Iowa
Mark Walton, Miami
Warren Wand, Arkansas State
Tre Watson, California
Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt
Mike Weber, Ohio State
Braeden West, SMU
Devwah Whaley, Arkansas
Aeris Williams, Mississippi State
Shaun Wilson, Duke
Marquis Young, Massachusetts

Title game rematch? Notre Dame AD “would love to play” Alabama

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The 2013 BCS National Championship was a meeting of college football heavyweights as Alabama and Notre Dame squared off for the seventh time in the schools’ illustrious history. The game itself turned out to be anything but interesting after kickoff though as the Crimson Tide ran right over the Irish on their way to a 42-14 bludgeoning and complete a run as back-to-back national champions.

While many Notre Dame fans would love to forget that night in South Florida, a rematch could be in store for the two programs down the road in the regular season. In a wide-ranging interview with the Indianapolis Star, Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick discussed a multitude of issues surrounding the football program and specifically addressed scheduling philosophy. The team recently added several SEC teams like Arkansas to their future schedules and it appears a rematch with the Tide could also be in the cards as well.

“Alabama is one of those opponents we would love to play. I hope we do get that done,” said Swarbrick. “It was interesting to see the list of teams we’ve never played (from the SEC, which include Mississippi State, Auburn and Kentucky). I frankly didn’t know it. I have a great relationship with the Auburn athletic director (Jay Jacobs), and I’d love to figure out how to do that. There’s something to be said for ticking off everyone on that list until you can say you’ve done it over the history of this program.”

The Fighting Irish are no stranger to going South as they’re scheduled to play an SEC school in each of the next four years. Alabama recently hired a new athletic director in Greg Byrne and it wouldn’t at all be surprising to see the two AD’s find time to schedule a game or two considering how many high-profile matchups are already on the docket for both sides.

Either way, given how scheduled out things already are for Notre Dame and Alabama, any such meeting would surely be several years into the future. That should give Irish fans plenty of time to erase that national championship game from their memory.

South Alabama new home for ex-Notre Dame DB Spencer Perry

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A little over three months after leaving Notre Dame, Spencer Perry has decided on a new college football home.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday, Perry announced that he would be enrolling at South Alabama and continuing his collegiate playing career for the Jaguars.  Barring something unexpected, Perry will have to sit out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.

Beginning with the 2018 season, he’d then have three years of eligibility remaining.

As a true freshman last season, the defensive back played in six games. Perry participated in nine of the practice sessions this spring before making the decision to transfer from the Fighting Irish.

Perry was a three-star member of Notre Dame’s 2016 recruiting class, and was an early enrollee who took part in spring practice last year.

Ex-Notre Dame DB Mykelti Williams not joining Syracuse after all

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On National Signing Day this year, Mykelti Williams, a former Notre Dame defensive back, signed to continue his collegiate playing career with Syracuse after transferring in from the junior college ranks.  Five months later?  Never mind.

At the ACC Football Kickoff this week, ‘Cuse confirmed that Williams has not been admitted to the university.  No reason for the non-admittance was given by school officials.

As a result, Williams will not be playing for the Orange football team as previously planned.

It was confirmed in March of 2016 that Williams would be transferring from Notre Dame. No reason for the decision was given as, entering spring practice sessions a couple of weeks prior to moving on, the defensive back had been expected to compete for a starting job. At the very least, the Indiana native was expected to play a significant role in the Irish secondary.

Williams was a four-star member of the Irish’s 2015 recruiting class, rated as the No. 16 safety in the country; the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Indiana; and the No. 237 player overall. He took a redshirt as a true freshman before playing at Iowa Western last season.

Should Williams end up at another FBS program, he’d have three years of eligibility remaining that he could use starting this year.