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Two Transfer Portal Necessities the Irish MUST Address

Written by Liam Farrell|Senior Staff Writer|Twitter/X: @LiamFarrell_IT

Via The Irish Tribune


Over the past two off-seasons, Marcus Freeman has displayed his ability to recruit within the transfer portal. In 2023, the additions of Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Sam Hartman, Thomas Harper, and Spencer Shrader were all valuable acquisitions, as these four players all started for the Fighting Irish this past season. Even with the 14 players transferring out of the program, Notre Dame seems destined for a historic 2024 campaign through the additions they made in the portal thus far. The Irish got an elite level quarterback in Riley Leonard, who also brought over his former Duke teammate, EDGE RJ Oben with him to South Bend. The Irish brought in two elite level wide receivers, Kris Mitchell and Beaux Collins from FIU and Clemson, respectively. Nonetheless, the Irish still have more noise to make within the transfer portal at certain key positions. Let's break down two key needs the Irish must address before the start of 2024 spring camp.





Wide Receiver Depth


The departures of Chris Tyree, Tobias Merriweather, Rico Flores, and Braylon James hurt the potential and depth of the Notre Dame wide receiving room. The additions of the aforementioned Collins and Mitchell provide Notre Dame with the needed star power the wide receiver room has been lacking in South Bend for the last 5 years. However, the Irish must add one more receiver to the mix in the case of much needed depth. As it stands, the projected wide receiving room is putting a lot of pressure on incoming freshman Cam Williams, Micah Gilbert, and Logan Saldate to receive playing time. The emergence of Jordan Faison has been a big boost for a wide receiving room needing a spark.


As it stands in 2024, the Irish receiving room should look a little like this:


Transfers:

Kris Mitchell

Beaux Collins


Junior/ Redshirt Sophomore:

Jayden Thomas

Deion Colzie


Sophomores:

Jordan Faison

Jaden Greathouse

KK Smith


Freshman:

Cam Williams

Micah Gilbert

Logan Saldate


I believe an eye-opening target the Irish could land to be the finishing touches to a revamped wide receiving room is CJ Daniels from Liberty. Daniels just recently entered the portal after putting up a 1000+ yard season for the Flames who made the Fiesta Bowl. Daniels is a lengthy 6'2" receiver who moves extremely well in space, and has tremendous big play ability. The wide receiver from Lilburn, Georgia, already has a relationship with Riley Leonard, as the two follow each other on Instagram.





Secondary Reassurance


The return of Nagurski Trophy winner Xavier Watts was enormous as it pertains to the trajectory of this Notre Dame team in 2024. The return of Watts is a sense of relief for Safety coach Chris O'Leary, as the position is full of extremely talented, yet extremely inexperienced players. This is the cause for concern, as the current safety slated to line up next to Watts next year is Adon Shuler, who played well during the Sun Bowl, but is extremely inexperienced. An addition of one more transfer portal safety to the position room would have many breathing a sigh of relief. One candidate that recently entered the portal that the Irish might be involved with is Alaka'i Gilman. Gilman is a name most Irish fans are familiar with, as his brother Alohi, was another transfer that made an impact for Notre Dame during his time here. Alaka'i, who entered the portal at the beginning of the new year, played sparingly during his senior year at Stanford, but would be a phenomenal rotational piece, along with a great clubhouse guy to tutor and mentor these younger safeties along with Watts.


The Irish are also reportedly showing interest in Northwestern transfer Ron Heard II, who is slated to visit campus sometime in January. Heard, who is more of a nickel safety, would be alongside other transfer Jordan Clark, who pledged his commitment to the Irish at the very beginning of the transfer portal opening. This tandem would cement the Irish as having one of the best secondaries in the nation.


Wrap-Up


Do these moves intrigue you Fighting Irish fans, or do you think Head Coach Marcus Freeman should stick with the current talent he has on the roster? These moves would be extremely beneficial if Freeman could continue his success on the transfer portal recruiting trail. Let me know other names you would like to see in the Blue & Gold next season below!


2 Comments


Guest
Jan 06

I agree with all of Farell's points on a weekly basis. I think he is an up-and-comer in the Notre Dame media space

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Liam Farrell
Liam Farrell
Jan 06
Replying to

Thank you very much. I appreciate the kind words!

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