Parker Boudreaux Transfer: Notre Dame OL Depth Hit Again

Notre Dame has been in the midst of a string of transfers the last week like nothing we’ve seen here before.  The bad news continued on Wednesday when reserve center Parker Boudreaux announced he was transferring.  The transfer was Notre Dame’s third transfer this month.

Last week reserve linebacker Josh Barajas announced a transfer to Illinois State.  On Monday backup center Tristen Hoge announced a transfer to BYU.  After the transfer of Hoge, Boudreaux was set to fill the backup center role as a redshirt freshman this year.  Boudreaux has said that he is not transferring because of playing time though and his first visit is to Central Florida this weekend suggesting he is looking to get closer to home.

Harry Hiestand has had to add training a new backup center to his fall camp to do list.  Candidates include junior Trevor Ruhland, freshman Robert Hainsey, 5th year senior Hunter Bivin, freshman Dillan Gibbons, and freshman Aaron Banks. It should be noted that both Banks and Hainsey were early enrollees.

Keeping Sam Mustipher Healthy

After the transfers of Boudreaux and Hoge, Sam Mustipher might be the most indispensable starter for Notre Dame in 2017.  Notre Dame has no one with any experience behind Mustipher and depending on how things shake out in fall camp, the #2 spot on the depth chart could be filled by a true freshman for the season opener.

Much like Mark Harrell was the Swiss Army knife of the Notre Dame offensive line last year though, Hunter Bivin could fill that role this year.  Even if he isn’t listed as the backup center when Temple comes to town, he could be the answer at center if Mustipher were to miss any substantial time.

Let’s hope we don’t have to find out if that is the case at any point in 2017.

Transfers Will Hurt More Next Year and Beyond

With Boudreaux set to transfer, Notre Dame will have 13 offensive linemen on scholarship this year and neither Boudreaux or Hoge was looking at serious playing time this year without an injury or two.  Next year though, Notre Dame could find itself in a major bind along the offensive line.

Mike McGlinchey is a 5th year senior.  Alex Bars, Quenton Nelson, Sam Mustipher, and Jimmy Byrne are all seniors in 2018.  Nelson considered leaving early for the NFL this past season and if he has the kind of year he is expected to have, its hard to imagine him coming back in 2018.  That means Notre Dame will be replacing at least two starters.  Alex Bars and Sam Mustipher though could have NFL decisions to make assuming both make it through their second seasons as starters injury free.

If either Bars or Mustipher emerge and decide against returning for a 5th year, Notre Dame is going to be in a really tough spot on the offensive line in 2018.

Notre Dame already has two offensive linemen committed in the class of 2018 in Cole Mabry and John Dirksen.  The Irish have been very selective in their offers along the line though and this year’s class of lineman is said to be one of the weakest in recent memory.  Still, with these two losses, Notre Dame will have to explore making a few more offers and perhaps taking an additional lineman this year now.

Should Notre Dame return both Bars and Mustipher in 2018, Notre Dame could still afford to be selective in their offensive line recruiting and then load up in 2019.

Roster Spot Open for Alohi Gilman?

After adding graduate transfer Cameron Smith earlier this week, Notre Dame was sitting at 85 scholarships – even with the transfer of Hoge.  Despite being at 85, Notre Dame hosted Navy transfer Alohi Gilman on Tuesday.  The safety transfer is not a graduate transfer but would still count towards the 85 limit for 2017 as he sits out.  With Boudreaux’s transfer though, Notre Dame now has an open roster spot for the 2017 season opening the door for a potential transfer to Notre Dame for Alohi.

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  1. All programs go through transfers and decommits. Name me one program that has not endured multiple transfers/decommits in a season. It’s tough to see guys go, but it happens. We should support their decision and the players who will step up in their place.
    Sitting in our bubble as ND fans, it’s easy to believe that it only happens at ND when we don’t pay attention to the other schools.
    Unfortunately it does as you can see below. I’m curious to know how many guys transfer each year in FBS as well as a ranking of which schools see it the most.

    Examples –
    OSU 4 players this year –
    Alabama yesterday –
    Alabama 3 QBs from last year (one former ND commit) –
    Alabama 5 Players in 2016 –
    Clemson 3 grad transfer this year –
    Penn State (If this happened at ND, there would be riots) –
    Just to show how many, here is a list of the top 100 transfer from 2016 –

  2. On a more positive note, transfers can also happen because of the talent you have at those positions. If you are buried in the depth chart but the guys ahead of you are truly better, what is Kelly supposed to do about that? These guys come in to play football, not to sit and watch. If they see they aren’t able to beat their guys to be a starter and/or get a lot of PT, then transfers in this case are to be expected. I see it as a good thing in that we must have some pretty good talent if the guys transferring also have good talent. My guess is we are going to lose a very skilled QB when Jurkovec comes in when you have Wimbush, Book, and the new kid (forget his name) coming this fall. Wimbush has three years of elig left and I don’t see him going pro until his eligibility is up. It happens. These kids want to play. You can’t blame them for that or the coach for not being able to hold onto them.

    1. Some of that may be true, and for some of the transfers that was cited as a reason. I’m not as concerned about those individually. But right now there has been numerous transfers and now we have one from a player who would otherwise likely be a contributor. I sympathize with homesickness, but that doesn’t totally wash with me. I do think it’s up to the coaches to help them work through that. Transfers have been a troubling trend with BK also in the past. It just starts to add up. Each case individually wouldn’t be a cause for alarm by itself. I understand sometimes when a kid is homesick, there may not be anything you can do, but again, it seems every year we are losing one or two players for that reason. I also think of EG and Zaire, 2 QB’s who transferred who were supposed to be ‘perfect’ for BK’s system that started off well enough, but then the wheels started coming off as they got more experience, who both then transferred. That CAN’T happen. How does any player get worse with experience. But esp. a QB, they should be getting better and the only place they should be leaving for is either the NFL or their career, or maybe a graduate school for a degree, NOT in the hopes of improving their football acumen, which both EG and Zaire left for. Also, I think you could even argue for the players that were buried on the depth chart who came in highly rated, why are so many getting buried. Why weren’t more of them developed into contributors. True, not every touted recruit is the real deal, and you can dismiss one or two. But when it happens over and over again, you have to start questioning coaching.

      1. Damian,

        I completely see what you’re saying here. But I’m curious as to who transferred from ND in the Kelly era that ended up being a stud for another team and/or went on to the NFL to be successful? Off the top, I cannot recall any. Also, in both Golson and Zaire’s cases, they knew they were going to have to come back and compete with a younger QB that has a big upside after having crappy seasons. I could see it being Kelly and not fully developing them as you are saying but in both cases, these qbs started out pretty successfully and then tailed off for reasons we can only speculate. Golson’s could be pointed to getting kicked out of school, having a decent first half of the season, and then mentally collapsing after that brutal BS loss at FSU. To me, I speculate it was all mental for Golson considering those two things. Zaire was pretty successful all the way up to the injury then Kizer takes over and holds on to those reigns. Again, mentally that has to be tough on these kids. I’m not sure if Kelly has these kids visit sports psychologists or anything like that but half of the development is certainly mental, especially for a QB. I think we’re being pretty tough on Kelly but I’m somewhat biased because I do like Kelly still. At some point, I think the players need to take accountability. As a former college athlete myself, I never thought to blame my coaches for my downfalls. I only blamed myself because I’m all about personal accountability.

  3. I have to agree with Alley O’Cat. For all the talk of BK’s changes, he’s having a difficult time holding on to players. Now it’s true, some of the transfers will have little or no effect, but it’s transfers like these that will hurt down the road. I’d argue BK should have done more to make Boudreaux feel more at home at ND. Certainly it’s true some players just get homesick, but it’s up to the coach to help the player move past that. After all, if Boudreaux ever wants to play in the NFL he may be far from home.

    I am trying to work up some optimism for this season, but it’s news like this that remind me why I was finished with BK after last years debacle. I can’t help but think these changes are just too little too late.

  4. Hate to see Boudreaux transfer, but I cant blame him. Too talented to sit. This is a disturbing trend for the Irish. The Irish need re-evaluate how they are handling their talent to avoid so many transfers.

    1. Apparently playing time wasn’t the issue. Some sort of sinus problem due to northern weather. Only at ND would hear of this kind of crapola.

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