Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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16 AUGUST 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY LOU SOMOGYI T he end of spring football practice often signals the beginning of some roster upheaval. That was the case at Notre Dame shortly after the second semester concluded, when four players departed the team while three new faces were welcomed from other schools. That left the Fighting Irish with 84 scholarship players, one short of the NCAA limit of 85, while they pre- pared to commence preseason practice Aug. 1. The four players who were lost included three transfers and one medi- cal casualty: • Junior inside linebacker Josh Bara- jas transferred to Illinois State, which competes at the Football Champion- ship Subdivision level in the Missouri Valley Conference. He did not see action his first two seasons and was listed as the No. 3 Buck linebacker at the end of spring. • The two reserve centers, junior Tristen Hoge and sophomore Parker Boudreaux, transferred to Brigham Young and Central Florida, respec- tively. Notre Dame's 2015 Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year as a freshman, Hoge saw action in six games last sea- son while moonlighting as a guard. His cousin is BYU quarterback Beau Hoge. Boudreaux, a Florida native, arrived as a guard, where he redshirted last season as a freshman, before transi- tioning to center this spring. Senior Sam Mustipher returns as the incumbent center and has a fifth year of eligibility in 2018. Minus Mustipher's two backups from the spring, junior guard Trevor Ruhland, one of the top rising players in the spring per offen- sive line coach Harry Hiestand, has been shifted to No. 2 center. Others also will cross-train there in case of an emergency. • Senior tight end Tyler Luatua has left the game after being plagued by concussion/head trauma much of his career. Like graduated seniors such as wide receiver Corey Robinson, tight end Mike Heuerman and linebacker Michael Deeb, all of whom also had to quit football because of medical issues, Luatua's football grant-in-aid will be transferred to a general university fund. Luatua unofficially was credited with 38 snaps last season. IN WITH THE NEW Enrolling this summer at Notre Dame were three transfers: wide re- ceivers Freddy Canteen (Michigan) and Cameron Smith (Arizona State), and safety Alohi Gilman (Navy). As an early graduate, Canteen has two more years of college eligibility in 2017 and 2018, like former Notre Dame wide receiver Corey Holmes, now at Purdue, and former Fighting Irish wide receiver/running back Jus- tin Brent, a graduate transfer now at the University of Nevada. Injuries played a huge factor in side- tracking the careers of Canteen and Smith, while Alohi starred as a fresh- man with the Midshipmen before de- ciding to no longer pursue the military field. Smith graduated this April with a degree in English and will have one year of eligibility remaining while enrolled in graduate school. His best season with the Sun Devils, where he played in 30 games and started 18, was as a sophomore in 2014 when he snared 41 passes for 596 yards and six touchdowns. In Arizona State's 55-31 victory versus Notre Dame that year, Smith caught four passes for a team-high 67 yards, highlighted by a 43-yard scoring strike that put the Sun Devils ahead 31-3. A knee injury sidelined Smith all of 2015, and last year as a senior he was limited to 11 catches for 183 yards, but Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly believes Smith could be the top deep threat on this year's team. Speaking of past success against Notre Dame, Gilman finished with a career-high 12 tackles (five solo) in Navy's 28-27 victory over the Irish last November. A 12-game starter for the Midshipmen as a plebe, Gilman had starts at cornerback, safety and even outside linebacker while finishing sec- ond in tackles with 76 (50 solo) and passes broken up (five), plus he also added two fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown) and a forced fumble. "He plays the style of safety we want in this program," Kelly said of the 6-0, 195-pound defender. "Alohi's a run- and-hit safety that fits perfectly in the [defensive coordinator] Mike Elko de- fense." Gilman has petitioned the NCAA for immediate eligibility in 2017, but he may have to sit out due to undergradu- ate transfer rules. ✦ Addition And Subtraction Three transfers join Notre Dame's football program, while four opt to continue their careers elsewhere Wide receiver Cameron Smith, who will play one season at Notre Dame after transferring from Arizona State, had four receptions for a team-high 67 yards and one touchdown in the Sun Devils' 55-31 win over the Irish in 2014. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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