Notre Dame CB Nick McCloud Headed to NFL

Notre Dame’s crazy off-season of roster movement continued on Tuesday with more transfers and another announcement of a player who could have used the NCAA’s free year of eligibility declaring for the NFL Draft. Today it was cornerback and former NC State transfer Nick McCloud.

There was some hope that since McCloud is not considered a high round pick or one of the top cornerbacks, that he might return to Notre Dame using the NCAA’s free year.

McCloud transferred to Notre Dame in the spring as a grad-transfer from NC State after injuries plagued his time with the Wolfpack. He quickly won a starting cornerback position with the Irish and turned into Notre Dame’s most reliable cornerback this year.

McCloud tallied 22 tackles on the season with an interception and 8 pass breakups. That interception came in Notre Dame’s blowout of Pitt in October.

With McCloud headed to the NFL, one cornerback position is wide open for Notre Dame this spring. The Irish lost junior to be Isaiah Rutherford to the transfer portal earlier this week as well. Clarence Lewis figures to have the other position locked down after a strong freshman campaign even if he struggled a bit in the Rose Bowl against Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith.

Senior TaRiq Bracy, junior Cam Hart, sophomores Caleb Offord and Ramon Henderson, and early enrollees Ryan Barnes and Phillip Riley will all be battling to start opposite Lewis in the spring. Chance Tucker reports to Notre Dame this summer as well. Bracy began the 2020 season in the starting lineup but did not play much down the stretch after being replaced by Lewis.

So far, the only player for Notre Dame who has taken advantage of the NCAA’s free year of eligibility is defensive lineman Kurt Hinish who officially announced his return in hilarious fashion yesterday. There is still optimism that fellow defensive lineman Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa joins Hinish in returning.

Aaron Banks announced he was leaving for the NFL on Sunday while Brock Wright declared for the NFL Draft on Monday.

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8 Comments

  1. Nick McCloud became the answer to a trivia question in the Alabama game:
    Who was the ND defender that ball carrier Najee Harris posterized by hurdling over him, landing in stride, and continuing on for another 25 yards downfield ?

    (The extended arm of the Indiana QB in OT to beat Penn State is still my ‘play of the year’ for 2020, as the ND-Alabama game wasn’t on the line at all).

  2. I agree, he was solid nothing more. Notredames recruited poorly the last few years in the secondary. I do think Mickens was a really good hire both as a coach and a recruiter. I think he brought in some potential ly very good defensive backs considering he had no campus visits, camps etc. Kelly just has to get this offense to really be explosive and be nearly unstoppable and average 45 to 50 points a game to beat Alabama,Ohio Stage, Clemson, Oklahoma,LSU, etc. The problem is he has never done it at Notredame in 11 years. All his teams have averaged between 29 and 35 points. Meanwhile every year the teams that are in the playoffs average between 45 and 50. Also these teams can score acc lot of points against other elite teams with good defenses. The formula in football today at all levels high school college and pros you win championships with a good defense and an unstoppable offense. The Kansas City Chiefs. Alabama,Clemson,Ohio State,LSU last year. My high school has won 5 state championships in the last 6 years. Each of those 5 teams averaged 42 to 46 points a game Theyear they didnt win the average was 33 points a game. What does Kelly have to do? Look and evaluate everything, recruiting, play calling scheme/ structure game planning in game adjustments philosophy coaching maybe get rid of Del Alexander and go get a great receivers coach who can bring in the explosive players and play and develop them.

    1. Sorry, but what Kelly “has to do” is nothing whatsoever.
      He’s now guaranteed at LEAST 2 more years at ND before a firing with a large buyout.
      Far more likely is 4 years to a smooth retirement, and either way, a few more years in broadcasting.
      $6-8 million….minimum.
      He’s all set. And ND football is what it is.

      1. Sadly true. He is not going to bring in a hot coordinator and pair him up with Reese like Oregeron brought in Joe Brady and paired him up to Emminger.

  3. I’m not terribly familiar with Mr. McCloud’s body of work….these days, I watch far more games that don’t involve ND than do.
    But from what I saw from him vs. Alabama, that guy is not going to play in the NFL unless there’s an expansion of the league.

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