Notre Dame, Ind (UHND) — Charlie Weis addressed the media today to kick off the 2005 season as players returned to campus for the start of fall practice. Weis wasted little time getting addressing some lingering issues that had been speculated about for the past few weeks — namely the status of Freddie Parrish and Travis Leitko both of whom won’t be playing for Notre Dame this fall.
“Freddie Parish is transferring. We’re in the process of getting that done right now. He came to me, he and I worked on this,” Weis said to the media shortly after talking about the new facilities. Weis would not give any more details on the transfer of Parish other than to say that, “this is not an anti Notre Dame or anti Freddie Parish deal but I think it’s going to work out the best for Freddie in the long run and I’ll leave it at that.”
Weis then switched gears an addresses the status of Travis Leitko whose name has been absent from the Notre Dame roster by stating that, “Travis Leitko will not be back this year, as far as his future goes, I can’t tell you.” It’s been speculated for some time now that Leitko would not be with the team and Weis confirmed that.
The loss of these two will be felt by a defense that returns just 3 starters. While Weis downplayed the loss of Parish stating, “Freddie in springtime wasn’t on the field hardly at all because he was doing some things academically to get his academics straight, which he did, but I hardly had him out there at all.” However, Parish, who’s had an up and down career at Notre Dame, has a ton of talent and could have helped out this year’s secondary.
The transfer of Parish is also a bit sad since Freddie’s been one of my favorite players and I’ve been waiting to see him finally breakout. I thought he would have that chance in 2004, but he will now have to wait at least another year to breakout for another team.
There us still plenty of talent at the safety position for Notre Dame which lessens the loss of Parish, but the loss of Leitko leaves Notre Dame dangerously thin at defensive end. Victor Abiamiri and Chris Frome will start at the end positions, but after these two, there is very little experience at defensive end.
Finding players who can contribute this year at defensive end now moves to the top of the priority list on defense — right up there with finding a pair of starters at cornerback. Ronald Talley, Justin Brown, and Dwight Stephenson will battle for playing time behind Frome and Abiamiri, but none have seen playing time and may be pressed into action before the staff would have ideally worked them in.
Stayed tuned for some more news on Weis’ press conference and the start of fall practice.