Notre Dame Adds S Transfer Avery Sebastian

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.

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.



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  1. With the talent going into Spring practice and following talent in June— A safety will emerge by September 5th. Try out all of the players in secondary at safety position. Seems ND has depth — to move a talented corner to safety position and not lose coverage on opposing wide outs. Yes , Kevairie Russell comes to mind and with Sebastian transfer—safety position would be solid. Why Russell ? Well , he probably is most talented secondary player at any position back there–and would handle safety position. You could still use Redfield/Shumate a lot on Navy/Georgia Tech option attacks and to spell Russell/Sebastian. It’s the best depth ND in years in the secondary—and corners will be veterans in 2015–Cole Luke and company played without Russell in 2014. The key is Kevairie Russell moving to safety. If safety position is a problem—why not put Russell there ?

    1. Because he is a corner and not a safety. Same reason you don’t put Greg Bryant at WR and Will Fuller at TE.

  2. takes 2 solid years of rehab to fully heal from Achilles got better as season rolled on! expect breakout season kid has great anticipation! go irish!!!!!

  3. He was 2011 recruiting class 6th ranked safety with offers from programs like Oregon, Michigan, and host of other FBS programs. His experience will prove invaluable. He should be well rested and healed by the summer. There is nothing like real competition to make Shumate and Redfield perform at the level we need them to play.

  4. This is especially good as it is the second year in a row, following Riggs.
    There were two football alums who helped sell Riggs and now Riggs has helped to sell Sebastian. One would imagine an intriguing relationship between Lyght and Sebastian. Sebastian will also be familiar with the rigors of playing Stanford and USC.

    Let’s hope this becomes a trend. It provides a back end way to upgrade the talent, letting the lesser lights take their degree and move to a new school, some with success, Andrew Hendrix! The departed win, the incoming fifth year player wins.

    In a related matter, I’m astounded that Baratti is still on the roster and has not been given a medical scholarship. He was competent as a frosh.

  5. I hope this kid works out for us! if he does awesome! If he doesn’t it looks like we’re just losing another scholarship. time will tell.

      1. that’s exactly what I’m worried about. We are also over on scholarships right now. Nick Saban might do it every year and get away with it, but I like to think that Notre Dame holds a higher standard.I take issue with recruiting kids to come to Notre Dame and then taking away their scholarship

      2. Are you sure about being over the scholarship limit? I thought some slots.opened up at the end of the year.

      3. They are at around 90 right now, but a lot depends on the 5th year guys and normal attrition. Don’t need to be at 85 until the first day of classes.

      4. Maybe you guys can answer another question for me. I’m going to use Ishaq Williams just for an example.

        Last year was the 4th and supposedly final year of eligibility. He missed the entire year because he was suspended due to violating the academic code. He can get a year back of eligibility even though he was suspended? This isn’t a medical exemption or a red-shirt year. He lost a year because he did something wrong.

        According to what I’ve read, he seems to have another year of eligibility left. Am I missing something?

      5. Once you start taking classes you have 5 years of eligibility in which you can play 4. Not counting medical hardships or other crazy things where you get that 6th year.

      6. Ron, I understand that part of it. What confuses me is that Ishaq got suspended for a year and apparently he can get that year back?

        Golson missed 2013 and nobody is saying he gets that year back. What difference am I missing?

      7. Nobody is getting a year back. They both started taking classes in 2011 which means they can play 4 out of the next 5 years. Golson redshirted in 2011 and was suspended on 2013 so he will only play 3 years.

      8. Before the start of last year, everywhere I read said that Golson had 2 years of eligibility (despite playing only one year, 2012)and Ishaq had 1 year left because he played 2011, 2012 & 2013. Even though he was suspended in 2014, Ishaq apparently still has one year left

        Therefore, Golson had to have lost a year of eligibility due to suspension and Ishaq didn’t. Why the difference?

      9. Mike
        Please slow down and read:
        Yes, before last year started EG did have 2 years left. Now he has one left. He “red shirted” in 2011, played in 2012, suspended in 2013, played in 2014 and now has 1 year left. You can play 4 years during a 5 year period. He will only get to play 3 of those years because he had a red shirt year and a suspended year.

        Ishaq played in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He was suspended in 2014. Now he has 1 year left. He will play 4 of 5 years because he only missed one season.

        I can’t help you anymore.

      10. I know what you’re saying Ron and thanks for trying to help me out.

        Players have 4 years of eligibility, period. Not 4 years out of 5. You can take longer than 5 years to use your 4 eligible years. You don’t even need a special exemption from the NCAA to do so. One example would be the Mormons. They take their 2 year mission and still retain all 4 years of their eligibility.

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