As Notre Dame still sits at 86 on the scholarship count, we know one player who definitely won’t be added back on the roster in 2018. Deon McIntosh will be transferring to East Mississippi Community College – the school featured in the Netflix documentary Last Chance U.
There had been speculation for months that both McIntosh and CJ Holmes had the possibility of returning to the Notre Dame roster following their separate dismissals. McIntosh was one of four Irish players to be sent home from the Citrus Bowl while Holmes was dismissed following his arrest for shoplifting in the same incident that was the last straw for former Notre Dame wide receiver Kevin Stepherson.
That speculation can end for McIntosh with his transfer. He’ll leave Notre Dame following a surprise breakout sophomore that saw him run for 368 yards and 5 touchdowns. McIntosh ended up being the featured back in Notre Dame’s 33-10 victory over North Carolina in October when injuries left the Irish thin at running back. He ran 10 times for 128 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the victory.
JUCO Football Forer originally reported the news on Tuesday.
— JuCo Football Forer (@JuCoFootballACE) June 5, 2018
Brian Kelly told Eric Hansen just a day before news of McIntosh’s transfer that he still hadn’t completely closed the door on either Holmes or McIntosh returning.
“Right now they’re not with the program, but I haven’t closed the door totally,” Kelly said. “There are so many different things that are in play here. … There are things that have to be worked out if either one of them were to come back on the team.”
McIntosh will have three years of eligibility remaining once he lands at “Last Chance U” after redshirting as a true freshman in 2016. Based on the skills he displayed last year, he has a good chance to use this opportunity to get his career back on track and eventually land at another Division 1 program eventually. Miami, Michigan State, North Carolina, Penn State, Pitt, Louisville, and Wisconsin – among other smaller D1 schools – all offered McIntosh out of high school.
Notre Dame’s running back depth chart still remains a bit in flux with Holmes’s status still unresolved and the early seasons status of Dexter Williams still being speculated about. Luckily for Notre Dame, the spring emergence of both Jafar Armstrong and Avery Davis should give them options.
With 86 scholarships still in use, Notre Dame still needs to reduce their count by one before the first day of classes in August. This is the first time in the Brian Kelly era that the Irish are pushing up against the 85 scholarship limit this late into the year.