Blue and Gold Illustrated

June July 2018

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

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Page 8 of 63 JUNE/JULY 2018 9 UNDER THE DOME football. I want to thank Coach Kelly, his staff and the Notre Dame family for the opportunities they provided. "My primary focus will be to pre- pare for a career that expands beyond football. Best, Freddy Canteen II Go Irish!" Canteen originally began his stu- dent-athlete career at the University of Michigan, where he graduated in only three years before opting to pursue his graduate degree at Notre Dame. Ravaged by injuries while with the Wolverines, including two shoulder surgeries, the speedster cracked the Irish starting rotation during the preseason, played 15 snaps in the opener versus Temple and caught a seven-yard pass. The ensuing week against Georgia he played 23 snaps and did not catch a pass, but then was sidelined the remainder of the season with a torn labrum. As of May 29, it was still uncertain where Canteen will use his final sea- son of eligibility. JAY HAYES ENDS UP AT GEORGIA INSTEAD The previous edition of Blue & Gold Illustrated, mailed April 25, reported that Hayes was headed to the Uni- versity of Oklahoma. He had com- mitted to the Sooners April 15 after leaving Notre Dame in the middle of spring practice April 6. However, after taking a trip to the Georgia Bulldogs' spring game April 21, Hayes had a change of heart and opted to join the 2017 national runners-up — who must rebuild on defense — less than a week later. Hayes started all 13 games at strongside end for the Fighting Irish last season and was a vital corner- stone against the run. This spring, ju- nior Khalid Kareem was taking more reps at the position, per the Notre Dame coaching staff. SCHOLARSHIP COUNT DOWN TO 86 Including the 27-man freshman class, seven of whom were early enrollees in January, Notre Dame's scholarship count at the start of spring was 89 — four over the NCAA limit of 85. The 85 total does not have to be reached until August, and the de- parture of the three fifth-year se- niors Hayes, Watkins and Canteen whittled it down to 86 as of May 29. There has been scuttlebutt that junior running back Deon McIntosh and sophomore running back C.J. Holmes, both dismissed from the team in January, might have a path back if they meet certain criteria be- tween now and August. However, if the scholarship crunch continues, it might require them to be walk-ons who have to pay their own way the next semester. ✦ Keenan Sweeney Added As A Graduate Transfer Walk-On It's never too late to go back "home." Former Auburn walk-on fullback/H-back Keenan Sweeney, who was on scholarship his last two seasons with the Tigers while appearing in nine total games as a reserve, will be a graduate transfer at Notre Dame in 2018. He will be a walk-on for the Fighting Irish, who currently have 86 players on scholarship and must get down to 85 by August. "Very excited to say I'll be attending the University of Notre Dame to get my masters in global health," Sweeney wrote on his Instagram account. "No better way to finish my football career [than] at the university I grew up loving. Go Irish!" The 6-0, 237-pound Sweeney — a four-time SEC academic honor roll member — is the son of 1979-82 Notre Dame fullback Dr. John Sweeney MD, surgeon-in-chief at Emory University School of Medicine in Georgia. His wife, Patty, also attended and graduated from Notre Dame in that same span. Keenan's older brother Aidan was a graduate transfer at Notre Dame in swimming, another sport where the Sweeney family has excelled, specifically at the University of Georgia. Notre Dame's offense does not list a "fullback" per se, but current sophomore tight end Brock Wright had that sort of role as a lead blocker in short-yardage and goal-line situations last season. The elder Sweeney was a three-year starter for the Irish and had to immediately step into that role as a freshman in 1979 in the 12-10 win in the opener at Michigan when starting fullback Pete Buchanan suffered a season-ending injury during preseason workouts. That year Sweeney was a lead blocker for All-American and first-round pick Vagas Ferguson, whose 1,437 rushing yards during that 7-4 season remain the most in regular-season history at the school (Josh Adams totaled 1,430 last year, including the bowl game). As a sophomore in 1980, Sweeney carried 50 times for 202 yards on head coach Dan Devine's final Notre Dame team that lost to No. 1 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Under new coach Gerry Faust in 1981, Sweeney was a co-starter with Larry Moriarty, carrying 36 times for 168 yards and catching nine passes for 124 yards while scoring the lone touchdown of his career. As a senior in 1982, Sweeney saw Moriarty — who would play six years in the NFL — take over as the top fullback. — Lou Somogyi Sweeney, a former walk-on at Auburn who was eventually put on scholarship, has transferred to Notre Dame, where his father, John Sweeney, played from 1979-82. PHOTO COURTESY AUBURNTIGERS.COM

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