Notre Dame’s linebacking corps for 2021 picked up some more depth on Thursday night when former Michigan linebacker Adam Shibley announced he was using a graduate -transfer to walk-on at Notre Dame. In his announcement on Instagram, Shibley stated that playing for Notre Dame fulfills a life-long dream.
Shibley enrolled at Michigan as a walk-on before earning a scholarship and playing a reserve role the last two seasons. He played in five games for Michigan in 2020 seeing his most action when NFL-bound Cam McGrone, a one-time Notre Dame recruiting target, was injured. He recorded 20 tackles on the season with 2 TFL. Shibley was expected to be in the mix for a larger role with the Wolverines in 2021 with McGrone leaving early for the NFL.
Where Shibley fits into the rotation at Notre Dame is not totally clear. The Irish linebacking corps will look much different in 2021 with Jeremiah-Owusu Koramoah also headed to the NFL, but there are no shortage of internal candidates to fill out the lineup.
Jack Lamb, a former 4-star recruit, transferred from Notre Dame to Colorado after an injury-plagued career at Notre Dame, but the Irish return three different players who played at BUCK (now referred to as WILL in Marcus Freeman’s defense) in Marist Liufau, Jack Kiser, and Shayne Simon. One of the three could be a candidate to move to ROVER. Notre Dame also adds the high school Butkus Award winner, Prince Kollie, in the summer.
Shibely played on special teams at Michigan before he got his two career starts in place of McGrone, so a role on the Irish special teams unit is more likely than a regular role in Marcus Freeman’s defense. If nothing else, a former Michigan scholarship player announcing on social media that walking on at Notre Dame is fulfilling a life-long dream is sure to stick in the craw of many a Wolverine fan. For that, Shibley is already one of my favorite players on the roster.