Kuntz Not Enrolled for Spring Semester

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According to an AP report, Pat Kuntz is not enrolled at Notre Dame for the spring semester.

Kuntz said he plans to return to Notre Dame, possibly as early as this summer, and hopes to play for the Irish this fall.

“No matter what I’m going to be back there. I’m going to have one more year to play and I’m going to graduate from Notre Dame,” said Kuntz, who is majoring in sociology. “The time is the only thing that’s not 100 percent.”

Kuntz hopes to know in the next month whether he will be back in school in time to play next fall.

It was widely speculated that Ian Williams would take over as the starting nose tackle this year, but Kuntz was expected to fill the starting role of departed defensive end Trevor Laws. This loss of Kuntz this fall would be devastating for a defensive line which will already be stretched thin with experience talent.

The report listed “personal reasons” as the cause for Kuntz’s absence. Kuntz was likely to be limited this spring while recovering from knee and back injuries so if he can take care of the situation before the summer term rolls around, he will not miss much football that he was probably already going to miss.

Hopefully he can take care of whatever it is he needs to before the summer because he was going to be counted on heavily in 2008 and built a reputation as one of the toughest and hardest playing defenders on the team in 2007. Under-sized for the nose tackle position, Kuntz played with a lot of heart and surprised a lot of people with how well he was able to hold up against double teams in Corwin Brown’s 3-4 defense.

If he is unable to play this year, the candidates to fill the role currently on the roster, sophomore Emeka Nwankwo, a converted offensive lineman, juniors Paddy Mullen and Kallen Wade, and senior Derrell Hand. The door would also be wide open for the incoming freshman to step in and play from day one. Sean Cwynar enrolled at Notre Dame this week and would have the inside track among the freshman to fill in. Ethan Johnson, who missed his senior season due to injury, would also likely get a chance to start at end. Should the Irish be able to land Mike Martin in this recruiting class, he too could potentially challenge for the position. Hafis Williams and Brandon Newman would also likely be in the mix for playing time, but it’s likely Williams will need time to develop further and Newman will need time to improve his conditioning making starting more unlikely for these two compared to their fellow freshmen.

Hopefully all of this discussion on who would replace Kuntz becomes moot and he returns to school and competes this fall. You have to love his quotes that no matter what happens, he will be back and will graduate from Notre Dame. Good luck Pat, we will all be pulling for you.

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  1. Hopefully, USC is just rearranging the chairs on the titanic right now. In the fall they may very well be rendered to a practice squad.

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