Davonte Neal Transferring from Notre Dame?

davonte neal transfer
Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Davonte’ Neal (19) is tackled by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Landon Collins (26) on a punt return during the first half of the 2013 BCS Championship game at Sun Life Stadium. (Photo: Steve Mitchell / USA TODAY Sports)

The hits keep on coming for Notre Dame in the early goings of spring football 2013.  A day after learning that juniors Amir Carlisle and Chase Hounshell were likely lost for the spring, news broke late Tuesday night that sophomore Davonte Neal is planning to transfer from Notre Dame.

Blue and Gold Illustrated’s Jason Sapp first reported the Neal transfer story over Twitter on Tuesday night.

Sapp later followed by his initial tweet with another stating that the primary reason for Neal’s transfer is that the Arizona native has a 6 week old baby back home.

No one else has confirmed the report at this time, but if true, Notre Dame has just lost another potential big time playmaker for the 2013 offense.  Neal, heading into his sophomore season this fall, was expected to be the leading candidate for both the starting slot receiver position as well as the #1 punt return man heading into spring football.

If Neal does indeed transfer, Notre Dame will have lost both of it’s top two candidates for the slot position so far this spring after Carlisle reportedly suffered a broken collarbone over the weekend.  Carlisle is expected to be ready for fall camp, but that would still leave the Irish without both this spring and with very little experience at the position heading into fall camp.

Neal saw limited action on offense as a true freshman in 2012, but was Notre Dame’s primary punt returner throughout the season.  Much was expected out of him in year two, however, with the Irish replacing Theo Riddick and Robby Toma – the two primary occupants of the slot position for the Irish a year ago.

It’s unclear immediately who might step in and fill in for Neal this spring, but a transfer by Neal could get incoming freshman Tarean Folston on the field even sooner than expected.  Cam McDaniel will likely get more looks as a hybrid slot receiver/running back but outside of him Notre Dame doesn’t have too many other options at this time.

Brian Kelly mentioned in his first press conference of the spring that CJ Prosise was going to be cross trained as a receiver this spring.  That process may have just been expedited if Neal does indeed end up transferring.

If Neal does transfer, Notre Dame’s 2012 recruiting class, a class that was already behind the pace of both the 2011 and 2013 classes, will look even worse just a year after it signed.  Notre Dame will have lost the top three recruits from last year’s class with Neal joining Gunner Kiel and Tee Shepard as defections from last year’s class.


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  1. On the bright side, Neal’s transfer allows ND to another scholarship to fill in for Neal’s loss. I just hope that kid doesn’t transfer.

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