Originally written on Subway Domer  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Davonte Neal is going to transfer from Notre Dame to, most likely, a Pac-12 school. The news was broke on Twitter by Jason Sapp of Blue & Gold Illustrated: BREAKING: Davonte' Neal transferring from #NotreDame. All the details inside... (VIP) bit.ly/ZpfQQD #ND #Irish — Jason Sapp (@BGI_JasonSapp) March 27, 2013 The reason is one that may sound somewhat familiar with Irish fans (if you've been paying attention to Notre Dame football for the past few years). Neal has a new baby with his girlfriend back in his home state of Arizona and wants to be closer to the baby and his girlfriend.  As a father and in my mind, this is a perfectly reasonable action on Neal's part. As a fan, all I can do is say- well, I'll save the profanities for another time.  I know people will look back and dissect the way Neal's recruitment went down and use that as any basis to their reasons why "they saw this coming" or that they "are not shocked" and give him a slight, subtle, yet glaring jab at his character. This is ********. I couldn't help but notice Neal throughout the season. It wasn't just the fair catches on punt return- no, there was something much more striking and much more powerful. I don't think I saw ANYONE having more fun throughout the season than Neal. He was always front and center in any and every celebration and looked like he was just having an absolute blast, despite never getting much real playing time on offense after the Navy game.  He didn't strike me as bitter, pissed, angry, or anything else that some could have described someone in that position. One only need to take a look at Cierre Wood and his demeanor and body language to see what Neal could have looked like if that were the case. This decision by Neal to transfer from Notre Dame truly is about his love for his family, and I can respect that 100%.  This doesn't mean that I am not disappointed. Far, far, ffffaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrr from it. (Thanks Manti). I, like many Irish fans, had high hopes for Neal to turn Brian Kelly's "slot" into the "vital" piece of the Notre Dame offense. This is a major setback for an offense that needed to improve dramatically from its performance last season while replacing an All-American tight end in Tyler Eifert and both starting running backs in Riddick and Wood.  Ouch. The invisible toll is what these transfers (Neal & Kiel) may have done to the most recent recruiting class, when towards the end of the recruiting cycle Notre Dame was running tight in terms of scholarship numbers. Who did ND turn away or stop recruiting during the cycle because of the numbers? We may never know that- but we do know that it did happen, it happens all the time, and there is no real fault, only effect. What a recruiting class that 2012 class was, huh?! Kiel, Shepard, Neal, the Greenberry 11th hour switch, and the Darby late decommitment. Literally, the top 3 recruits in that class have now transferred within the past year... as freshman. It was a small class with only 17 commits, and now there are only 14. Basically, it's a lot like a NCAA sanction style class.  The margin for error in recruiting is small at a place like Notre Dame where the goal every year, no matter the reality, is a National Title- or at least competing for one. That margin of error just got even smaller for the recently signed class of 2013, next years class (2014), and even for the incoming class of 2015.  Roster management. Player development. Luck. The Irish will need all of those things (like any program looking to be elite) to compete for a national title. We can just hope Kelly and his staff keep plugging away and do what is necessary to get the job done. Good luck and thanks to Davonte, and I wish him nothing but the best.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Johnny Manziel and his entourage involved in brawl

Report: Mariners sign Kyle Seager to $100 million extension

Reports confirm Ryan Mallett is out for the season

Golden Tate: Loss to Patriots was 'embarrassing'

Pete Carroll: Beating Cards ‘best feeling we’ve had all year’

Bill Belichick burns Dominic Raiola over cheap shot

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tom Brady: ‘It’s fun going to Lambeau’

Anquan Boldin after exchange with Jim Haslett: He’s irrelevant

Ryan Mallett reportedly could be done for season

Report: Sandoval agrees to deal with BoSox, agent denies report

Report: Red Sox set to add Hanley Ramirez

Darrelle Revis, Ndamukong Suh exchange words after game

WATCH: Tom Brady sits down for interview with Randy Moss

UNC vandalized Duke locker room with spray paint after win

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez highlight Hall of Fame ballot

Sales of Odell Beckham Jr.'s jersey on the rise

RG3 struggles again, Redskins offense stuck in neutral

12 amazing stats from Week 12

Hockey Fights of the Week

Three head coaches who won't be with current team in 2015

Katy Perry confirmed as Super Bowl XLIX halftime performer

10 takeaways from Sunday's Week 12 NFL action

WWE Survivor Series results: Sting debuts, Team Cena wins

WATCH: Odell Beckham makes the catch of the season

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Report: Manziel, friends get in brawl

Tate: Loss to Pats was 'embarrassing'

Bill Belichick burns Dominic Raiola

Boldin on Haslett: He's irrelevant

Pablo Sandoval signs with Red Sox?

Beckham makes the catch of the season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 12

WWE Survivor Series results

Report: Red Sox set to add Hanley Ramirez

Dominic Raiola admits to dirty play

WATCH: Revis, Suh exchange words

Manziel's GF wants her man to play

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.