Notre Dame, Ind (UHND.com) — Anthony Fasano will finish his degree with just four more credits, but the senior from New Jersey had an additional year of eligibility available to him. Fasano however decided to forgo an additional year and will be eligible for the NFL draft this April.
Fasano was undecided until after the Fiesta Bowl, but announced his intentions to declare for the Draft at a Monday press conference. Stating that, “being in this position has been a lifelong dream of mine and I’ve realized that I’m finally able to reach it. I’m going to take advantage of that.”
After not playing as a freshman in 2001, Fasano caught 92 passes for 1,123 yards and 8 touchdowns over his final three seasons and was a finalist for the Mackey Award this year with 47 catches for 576 yards this past season.
Charlie Weis was not available for comment on Monday, but said in a statement that “Despite the fact that we’d love for Anthony to return, we also recognize that he has a great opportunity ahead of him”
Since being named head coach Weis has said he would not advise players to leave early and also would not advise players who were on course to graduate to stay if it was in their best interest to declare for the draft.
Fasano was almost lured back by a potential National Championship run in 2006 with 16 returning starters including seven on the offensive side of the ball. “I came here to win a national championship and I didn’t do that. That’s one of the things that really held me back (in making my decision). We have a great opportunity next year, but the best decision for me is to leave at this time,” Fasano said on the Irish 2006 season.
In the end however, the lure of the NFL, who too much to turn down for Fasano who would not have been able to have a Matt Leinart-esque 5th year with the academic rigors of a single class with the magnitude of Ballroom dancing at Notre Dame.
Given the depth and talent at the tight end position for the Irish, they should be able to sustain the loss of Fasano without missing much of a beat on offense. Junior John Carlson saw plenty of action in 2005 and combined with potential 5th year senior Marcus Freeman, freshman Joey Hiben, and a talent group of incoming recruits highlighted by Konrad Rueland, the Irish will have plenty of playmakers at the tight end position.
For more quotes from Fasano take a look at Notre Dame’s official press release.