Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2022

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 23 of 99

24 MARCH 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY TYLER HORKA N otre Dame was as good of an example as any program across the country that the offseason in college football just is not what it once was. It used to be major news when one or two players defected from a program to pursue a different path elsewhere. Now, players relocate from one school to another by the handfuls. Such attrition was on display at Notre Dame after the Fighting Irish finished their 2021 season in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day. Multiple Irish players entered the NCAA transfer portal. Others announced their return for another season. A good chunk entered the NFL Draft, too. It was a lot for even the most dedi- cated of Fighting Irish fans to keep up with. What follows is an all-encom- passing look at Notre Dame football roster turnover through Feb. 7. NFL DRAFT ENTRANTS WR Kevin Austin Jr.: The senior might not have gotten enough credit for his 48 catches for 888 yards and seven touchdowns in 2021. It was by far his best season at Notre Dame, and it pro- pelled him to what he believes could be an NFL Draft selection this spring. QB Jack Coan: He did almost every- thing Notre Dame wanted him to upon snagging him out of the transfer portal from Wisconsin. That included leading the Irish to the precipice of a College Football Playoff berth. Coan and the team fell just short, but it was a valiant effort down the stretch considering he was benched twice in the first half of the season. K Jonathan Doerer: A three-year starter, Doerer made 75.4 percent of his field goals. Two of the biggest came in the first half of 2021 — game-winners against Florida State in overtime and Virginia Tech in the final minute. Both games were on the road. S Kyle Hamilton: The All-American safety's career didn't end the way he would have wanted it to, and the same can be said from Notre Dame fans' per- spective. He didn't play in the final five games of the 2021 season, but the things he did in 31 career games before suffering his knee injury will long be remembered by the Irish faithful. He's aiming to get selected in the top five of the draft, which hasn't happened for a Notre Dame prod- uct since Rick Mirer in 1993. DT Kurt Hinish: He has played more games (61) in a Notre Dame uni- form than any player in program history. There can't be an Irish fan not rooting for Hinish to make it in the NFL. OG Cain Madden: He didn't have the All-American season at Notre Dame STAYING OR LEAVING? Many players from the 2021 Notre Dame roster had big decisions to make about their future with the program, making January a busy month for the Irish Senior wide receiver Kevin Austin Jr., who had one year of eligibility remaining, is among 10 Fighting Irish players who will pursue their NFL aspirations this spring. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - March 2022