The transfer train kept on rolling on Friday, but this time it pulled into Notre Dame’s station. After losing three undergraduate transfers over the last week, Notre Dame struck back with an undergraduate transfer of their own – Navy safety Alohi Gilman. Both Notre Dame and Gilman announced the transfer this afternoon.
— Alohi Gilman (@alohigilman) June 9, 2017
Gilman comes to Notre Dame after being named the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Rookie of the Year in 2016. Starting 12 games and playing in 14, Gilman was second on the Navy defense with 76 tackles as a freshman. Twelve of those tackles came in Notre Dame’s 27-28 loss to the Middies in November.
Gilman’s strong rookie campaign and a recent change in policy at the Naval Academy preventing players from deferring their two year post academy commitment likely combined to lead Gilman to transferring. Had he stayed at Navy and continued his ascent, he would not have been able to pursue a professional football career until after that commitment. By transferring now, however, that military service is not binding.
As an undergraduate transfer, Gilman will have to sit out the 2017 season though. He will be eligible to play for Notre Dame in 2018 and has three years of eligibility remaining.
When Gilman is active for the Irish, he will add a lot of versatility to a Notre Dame defensive backfield in need of help at the safety positions. Gilman started at three different positions for Navy in 2016 – corner, safety, and outside linebacker. In Notre Dame’s defense, Gilman could see time at either safety position as well the ROVER position.
Notre Dame was the only school Gilman visited since announcing he was transferring from Navy. That visit took place earlier this week.
Notre Dame has now added two safeties in the class of 2017 – Isaiah Robertson and Jordan Genmark Heath – and two who will be available to them in 2018 – Gilman and class of 2018 commitment Derrik Allen. Suddenly it looks like the Irish will finally have some depth at the safety positions by 2018. This fall is another subject but the depth chart for 2018 is starting to look pretty darn solid.
Some will question why Notre Dame is taking transfers from Navy. Others will complain that doing so is a sign of how far Notre Dame has fallen. Those are lazy observations though. Alohi Gilman can play football and he can help this football team. This was a solid pickup for the Irish.
Recapping a Wild Week of Transfers
In the last week or so Notre Dame lost Tristen Hoge to BYU and Josh Barajas to Illinois State. A third transfer, Park Bourdreaux, is still undecided on his next stop. Notre Dame also lost tight end Tyler Luatua to a medical hardship.
Gilman was not the only transfer in to Notre Dame in the last week though. The Irish added wide receiver graduate transfer Cameron Smith from Arizona State earlier this week.
Notre Dame Has Scholarship to Spare in ’17
All of the comings and goings have Notre Dame’s official roster number for the 2017 season at 84. Notre Dame started last week sitting at 86 before the four losses and two additions to the roster. It is unknown at this time if that scholarship will go unused or if there is any more transfer news coming Notre Dame’s way.
It would be hard to imagine Notre Dame accepting any more undergraduate transfers given the tight numbers for the class of 2018, but a graduate transfer could make sense.