(UHND.com) – After practice on Monday, Charlie Weis and the Notre Dame coaching staff let defensive linemen Casey Cullen and Travis Leitko; long snapper JJ Jansen, and offensive lineman Dan Chervanick know that they were awarded scholarships for the 2006-2007 school year.
Leitko, who spent the last year caring for his parents and improving his grades, returns to scholarship after spending his first three years as a scholarship defensive end. The Texas native was poised to at least be a top reserve last year as he would have battled with Chris Frome for the starting end spot opposite Victor Abiamiri. Leitko would leave the team prior to training camp last summer before returning to the University this summer.
A heralded recruit in Bob Davie’s final full recruiting class, Leitko was on several top 100 lists coming out of The Woodlands High School and was expected to do big things for the Irish. Unfortunately for Travis, his Notre Dame career hasn’t turned out how most thought he would, but his story is really a great example of what Notre Dame is all about and here’s wishing him good luck in his return to football.
Cullen, a senior out of Texas, is on scholarship for the second straight season after earning his ride during training camp. In 2005, Cullen was a special teams warrior for the Irish playing in all 11 games. Cullen will also provide some depth to the defensive line this year. As a special teams standout, Cullen forced two fumbles a year ago and recorded eight tackles.
JJ Jansen, a junior out of Arizona, started six games as a long snapper for the Irish and performed well in 2005. Jansen made 62 special teams appearances last year without muffing a single snap on the punt and field goal units.
Dan Chervanick recorded two tackles for the Irish last year and logged over eight minutes of playing time as a reserve defensive lineman. Listed as an offensive lineman on the official roster, the Pennsylvania native saw all of his action on defense and special teams in 2005. Chervanick returned for a fifth year as a walkon for Notre Dame and was rewarded by the staff with a scholarship for this year.