The final piece of Notre Dame trimming to the 85-man scholarship limit will apparently come after spring practice. The Irish began their 15 spring sessions still above the limit, with 87 players.
Notre Dame did announce the departures of six juniors-to-be after the first spring practice: quarterback Ron Powlus III (medical retirement), offensive tackle Caleb Johnson (no longer with program), linebacker Will Schweitzer (medical), safety Justin Walters (medical), cornerback Philip Riley (no longer with program) and kicker Josh Bryan (no longer with program)
That still leaves Notre Dame with two spots to trim before fall camp opens. The most likely avenue is the transfer portal, which will reopen for undergrad transfers May 1 through 15. Grad transfers can enter at any time. Only five Irish players entered their names in the portal during the Dec. 5 through Jan. 18 transfer portal window. That matched the number of transfers Notre Dame imported.
Notre Dame had one unexpected departure between the end of the portal window and the start of spring practice: four-star safety Brandyn Hillman, who was granted a release from his letter of intent March 13 “due to personal reasons.”
Other medical or non-medical retirements are also an avenue for possible attrition between now and August.
For now, every player with 2023 eligibility who has not announced 2023 plans is listed on this chart, even those who BlueandGold.com expects might not return in August.
Because of the COVID-19 bonus season, Notre Dame only has seven players who exhausted their eligibility in 2022. Those “super seniors” counted against the 85-player scholarship limit for the 2022 season. Anyone who returns using the COVID-19 waiver will also count against it in 2023. Super seniors did not count toward it in 2021.
Notre Dame has eight super seniors on its 2023 roster. Five of them are the transfers they recruited in December and January: quarterback Sam Hartman, wide receiver Kaleb Smith, defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste, defensive back Thomas Harper and kicker Spencer Shrader. Three players from the 2022 team returned for a sixth and final season as a super senior: receiver Matt Salerno, safety DJ Brown and long snapper Michael Vinson.
College football teams do not need to be at 85 scholarship players until the first day of fall semester classes. Notre Dame has plenty of work to do to get there. This chart should provide a look at how much attrition to expect in the coming weeks and months. The positions where players are listed are projections for their 2023 spot.
Here’s a look at the Notre Dame scholarship distribution for 2023, including the Irish’s 2023 signing class. This list will be updated throughout the year as players come and go.
Notre Dame scholarship chart key:
(*) – player who has redshirted.
(^) – player who is using the COVID-19 waiver to play a “super senior” season.
Anyone whose name is in italics has the COVID-19 bonus year available in 2024 or later.