Notre Dame, IN (UHND.com) – Junior defensive end Ronald Talley has left the Notre Dame football team according to a statement released Thursday by the University. The statement gave no reason for his departure nor did it say if he was still enrolled in classes, but it did say that the his exit was mutually agreed upon.
As of now any reason for Talley leaving the team is complete speculation and its likely nothing definitive will be known until Charlie Weis’s Monday press conference at which time Weis will address the situation. What is known, however, is that Talley’s absencse from a position already short on depth for the Fighting Irish.
Even though Talley was not exactly lighting the world on fire this year from the defensive end position, he was just as a co-starter along with Chris Frome opposite Victor Abiamiri and was a solid contributor for the defense.
Talley had just 11 tackles and a fumble recovery this year, but was more valuable than his stats indicate because of the lack of depth behind him at the defensive end position. Last year Talley stepped in and started 4 games after Chris Frome was injured in the USC game and would have been a starter heading into next season.
With Talley no longer on the team, the Irish must hope senior Dwight Stephenson or freshmen John Ryan, Morrice Richardson, or Kallen Wade can step up and add some quality minutes for the Irish so starter Chris Frome doesn’t need to be on the field every down.
Of the previously mentioned players, Morrice Richardson has seen the most playing time of the group this year, but he probably isn’t ready to be an every down defensive end if necessary yet. He has a long way to go in stopping the run and right now relies mainly on his speed for rushing the quarterback. Richardson has a very bright future ahead of him, but he might not be ready for extended playing time just yet.
It will be interesting to hear from Weis what the reasoning behind Talley’s departure. Weis most likely won’t divulge too much information regarding Talley on Monday, but what he says should give us a glimpse as to why the Michigan native has left the football team.
Did Talley see the young freshmen behind him passing him on the depth charts? Was it a grades or personal issue? These are some of the topics that will be discussed as reasons for Talley leaving the team over the next few days until we get some definitive reasons from Weis and until Weis speaks Monday, it will all be speculative.
What’s most alarming is that Talley is now the ninth member of the 17 prospect recruiting class of 2004 that is no longer with the team. Tyrone Willingham’s final full recruiting class, one of the most disappointing in years at the time, is now reduced to just eight members meaning Notre Dame will have just eight seniors on their roster next year.