Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Former Cal safety finds new home at Notre Dame

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The Notre Dame Fighting Irish weren’t finished in its attempt to acquire talented players after landing the nation’s 11th-ranked recruiting class in 2015.

Former Cal safety Avery Sebastian announced on Twitter that he officially plans to transfer to Notre Dame and become a member of the Fighting Irish football team.

As a graduate transfer, Sebastian will be immediately eligible to play once he’s enrolled.

Sebastian originally announced his intention to transfer two months ago on Instagram:

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have been a student-athlete at the University of California, Berkeley, and earn my undergraduate degree from the world’s top public university.

“I am extremely proud to be a Golden Bear,and strived to be a leader on and off the field. I left my blood, sweat and tears on Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium. I gave everything I had to this program and community while working hard to finish my degree in four years and will forever be thankful to all of those who helped support me during this journey.

“Now, I am ready to pursue my master’s degree. However, Cal does not currently offer a graduate program in my field of choice. In addition, I have one year of eligibility remaining and wish to play that final year while working toward my master’s degree at another university.”

The veteran safety was a three-time letter winner for the Golden Bears, but his career in Berkeley was marred by injuries.

In 2013, Sebastian tore an Achilles tendon during the season opener and lost his opportunity to start at safety. Last season, the defensive back only played in seven games due to a lingering quadriceps injury.

His experience will be a welcome addition to Notre Dame’s secondary, though:

Best case scenario: Sebastian stays healthy and pushes for playing time. At the very least, the Fighting Irish added a major contributor on special teams.

Report: Ohio State aims to poach Notre Dame RBs coach

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Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer isn’t wasting any time in his attempt to replace running backs coach Stan Drayton, who left Columbus for an opportunity with the Chicago Bears.

IrishIllustrated.com’s Pete Sampson reported that Meyer set his sights on Notre Dame’s Tony Alford to become Drayton’s replacement.

Despite never coaching together, Meyer’s interest stems from his time as an assistant coach with the Colorado State Rams when Alford was a running back for the team.

If Meyer is able to pry Alford out of South Bend, Ohio State will have its new running back coach in the fold and steal Notre Dame’s ace recruiter.

Alford also serves as Notre Dame’s recruiting coordinator. He was instrumental in Notre Dame’s 11th-ranked recruiting class, according to Rivals.com. This was Alford’s fourth class heading up Notre Dame’s recruiting department. All four were considered top 20 classes.

Prior to becoming a member of the Fighting Irish during Charlie Weis‘ tenure, Alford spent the 2007-08 seasons with the Louisville Cardinals. Previous stops also include the Iowa State Cyclones (two times), Washington Huskies, Kent State Golden Flashes and Mount Union Purple Raiders.

Alford could be the perfect hire for Meyer to solve some of the team’s recent issues with recruits after Drayton’s surprise move after National Signing Day.

Notre Dame safety Eilar Hardy transferring, will be eligible to play next fall

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After four years in South Bend, Indiana, as a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, safety Eilar Hardy is ready to finish his college football career at another program.

Prior to the team’s appearance in the Music City Bowl, Hardy tweeted it was his last game with his Fighting Irish teammates. Now, he’s officially set to transfer with a few possible destinations already in mind:

Miami (OH) would be the logical destination for Hardy since Chuck Martin, who previously served as Notre Dame’s secondary coach turned defensive coordinator, took over as the head coach of the Redhawks program in 2014. There is an obvious connection with the man that originally recruited him.

Hardy was considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and the nation’s 15th-ranked safety in 2011 when he originally committed to Notre Dame.

As a member of the Fighting Irish, Hardy played in 15 games over the past two seasons and started two games during the 2013 campaign. The safety was one of players suspended at the beginning of the 2014 campaign due to an academic investigation, though. Hardy recorded 35 tackles when given the opportunity to play.

As a graduate transfer, Hardy will be able to play immediately for his new team.

Top offensive tackle prospect, Ronnie Stanley, decides to stay at Notre Dame

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Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley could have potentially been the first offensive tackle drafted in April’s NFL draft.

However, Stanley decided to return to South Bend for his senior season.

The talented junior announced his decision via Twitter:

Despite the potential to become an early-round selection, Stanley has two important goals he has yet to achieve.

First, he can return to Notre Dame and finish his degree. Also, the offensive tackle wants to help the Fighting Irish compete for a national championship during the 2015 season.

With Stanley’s return, Notre Dame’s starting five along the offensive line should already be set heading into spring practice.

Stanley will resume duties at left tackle, while Mike McGlinchey takes over full-time duties on the right side. Meanwhile, the offensive interior will remain intact with center Matt Hegarty, right guard Steve Elmer and left guard Nick Martin.

Report: Former Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees will join Northwestern as GA

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After a short-lived pursuit to become an NFL quarterback, former Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees will follow in his father’s footsteps by pursuing a coaching career.

According to SI.com’s Brian Hamilton, Rees will join the Northwestern Wildcats’ coaching staff as a graduate assistant.

During his four seasons with the Fighting Irish, Rees threw for 7,351 yards, 61 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The quarterback left campus with 33 passing records.

Rees was never seen as a permanent solution behind center for Notre Dame, though. He was a smart and efficient player, but there was always a more talented recruit waiting in the wings. However, his aptitude for the game was never questioned. Rees’ ability to read defenses and understanding of the X’s and O’s should translate well for the aspiring coach.

Rees’ father, Bill, also started a career in coaching and scouting at Northwestern before spending 15 years at UCLA then moving to the NFL to work for the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns.

Bill Rees eventually returned to Northwestern in 2010 before leaving for the NFL a year later to resume his scouting career.