Notre Dame wasn’t able to find the 3rd safety that they wanted in the class of 2015 as Signing Day came and past, but just two weeks later the Irish landed Cal 5th year senior transfer Avery Sebastian to bolster a secondary in desperate need of experience at the safety.
Sebastian announced his decision to transfer to Notre Dame for his final year of eligibility over Twitter on Thursday night.
I have officially committed to the University of Notre Dame! Extremely blessed & excited to be apart of the Notre Dame family! GO IRISH
— Avery Sebastian (@JimThqrpe4) February 13, 2015
Sebastian, a one time 4-star commit ranked as the 11th best prep safety in the country, has graduated from Cal already and was looking for a destination for his 5th season that fit him both athletically and academically. That fit turned out to be Notre Dame, a place he knows well as a high school teammate of rising senior Isaac Rochell.
As a high school recruit, Sebastian was a sought after prospect with offers from LSU, Stanford, Michigan, UCLA, and Oklahoma. His career at Cal, however, was slowed by injuries including an Achilles in the 2013 season opener. This past season he played in 7 games totaling 21 tackles and intercepting one pass.
If Sebastian is fully healthy in 2015, he very well could end up starting for the Irish even though he will not be enrolling until the summer and won’t be enrolled for Spring football just as all 5th year transfers like Cody Riggs a year ago. Riggs, a Florida transfer, ended up being an integral member of the Irish defense after the loss of Keivarae Russell following Notre Dame’s academic investigation.
Notre Dame will return Max Redfield and Elijah Shumate who both started at times throughout 2014 in addition to rising sophomore Dure Tranquill who will be coming off of an ACL injury. Matthias Farley could also provide some depth at safety if he returns as a 5th year senior after playing nickel back for Notre Dame in 2014. Nicky Baratti’s could potentially provide depth if he is able to recover from his latest shoulder injury that caused him to miss most of the 2014 season.
On the recruiting front, Notre Dame added safeties Nicco Fertitta and Mykelti Williams in the class of 2015, but missed out on several other top targets in addition to losing Prentice McKinney in the final month of recruiting.