(Davonte Neal in National Championship Game - courtesy USAToday Sports/Landon Collins)
Notre Dame just can't stay out of the news as of late. First it was nomadic QB Gunner Keil announcing that he was transferring out of the program and now today reports are that two wide receivers - Davonte' Neal and Justin Ferguson - are transferring from the program as well.
Normally transfer news of the magnitude that Notre Dame is experiencing is an alarming sign of something wrong inside the program, however that's simply not the case here. Neal is transferring to be closer to his newborn baby and long-time girlfriend and Ferguson is looking to get more immediate playing time. Both are pretty normal things to be transferring for.
Hey, at least we aren't talking about guys transferring because of legal or academic issues for a change, right?
Instead the issue created by the latest set of departures is depth at a position Brian Kelly and Co. thought would be one of the positions they didn't have to worry about - Wide Receiver. Now departed are half of the six members of the two deep at wide receiver and that means a lot of turnover and inexperience at a key position for Brian Kelly's offense heading into 2013.
Neal was in the two deep last season at wide receiver as a freshman. He caught just one ball (as did Ferguson) for -5 yards, but was the teams punt returner as well, so he'll need to be replaced in two areas on the roster.
One silver lining is that this was a position the staff was already looking to upgrade and they have two early enrollee's on campus and in spring practice already, James Onwualu (a 247sports composite 4-star recruit) and Corey Robinson (a 3-star from San Antonio, TX). Both will need to step up to the plate now, but depending on true freshman to step into major roles on a team like Notre Dame could be asking a bit much.