The race for Clemson graduate transfer Scott Pagano potentially just got a little bit easier for Notre Dame. News broke Monday night that one of the biggest prizes on the graduate transfer market has canceled visits to both Arkansas and Oklahoma. That leaves just one official visit scheduled for Pagano at this time – Oregon. Pagano has already visited Notre Dame earlier this month.
Clemson Grad Transfer Scott Pagano has cancelled his visit to Oklahoma and Arkansas. via /r/razorbacks https://t.co/MEFUh2fj56 by /u/ Luke…
— /r/razorbacks (@HogsReddit) March 28, 2017
At this point no one really knows what exactly this means for Notre Dame’s chances for Pagano because the soon to be former Clemson Tiger has not been doing interviews in this process. What we do know as of now, however, is that two potential suitors for Pagano are now no longer being considered. One of them, Oklahoma, was considered to be one of the biggest competitors for the Irish.
If early reports out of spring practice are any indicator of the state of the Notre Dame defensive line, this is great news for Notre Dame at this point.
Notre Dame lost Elijah Taylor for the rest of the spring at a minimum – possibly longer – already. Daniel Cage has been cleared following problems with concussions but reports are that it is going to take him some time to get back into the kind of shape he needs to be in to handle a sizable workload this fall. Jerry Tillery has been spending some time playing out of position at nose tackle so far this spring out of necessity. Tillery, however, has a much greater chance to be a disruptive force for Notre Dame from the three technique.
At this point, it looks like Pagano would take two, maybe three practices before he would be inserted into the starting lineup for Notre Dame. Landing him as a graduate transfer would be in word HUGE.
Now, before we get too excited, Pagano still has a visit scheduled to Oregon and that visit still looms large. There also hasn’t been any word as to whether or not Pagano plans to replace the Arkansas and Oklahoma visits with any other schools.
Still, Monday night’s news is a potentially exciting development in Notre Dame’s pursuit of Pagano. When Pagano first hit the graduate transfer market Notre Dame’s inclusion felt a bit more as pie in the sky. Then Notre Dame was named one of the finalists with a visit scheduled. Then he moved his visit to Notre Dame up several weeks. Now this.
Notre Dame hasn’t had the best of luck with graduate transfers over the last few years, but they also have no landed a prospect of Pagano’s caliber at such a position of need before either. Transfers like Cody Riggs and Avery Sebastian have been largely ineffective due to injuries after transferring to Notre Dame in recent years.
Pagano’s Oregon visit is still reportedly scheduled for April 21. Stay tuned as this one continues to develop.