Notre Dame football: Prestwood primed for action next year
Florida State transfer Jordan Prestwood, though, does remain a big part of ND’s future as he incubates during the NCAA’s mandatory sit-out period.
“He’s had a good year,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly said Thursday after his team’s practice for Saturday’s Senior Day home matchup with rival Boston College.
The 6-foot-6, 280-pound offensive lineman is able to practice this season for the Irish, and will have four years of playing eligibility, beginning with the 2012 season.
The Plant City, Fla., product originally committed to Notre Dame as a high school junior in April 2010, but decommitted last October and enrolled early at FSU in January.
In June, he was granted a release to transfer and landed at ND in the fall after completing a foreign language requirement. He is believed to be the first scholarship-to-scholarship football transfer at the school in at least three decades.
Three other offensive linemen in the freshman class are all currently redshirting by choice, and Kelly said Thursday all three - Nick Martin, Conor Hanratty and Matthew Hegarty - are likely to end up as centers or guards.
Prestwood’s future is at tackle.
“He’s surprisingly athletic,” Kelly said of the player that recruiting analyst Tom Lemming deemed as the No. 72 overall prospect nationally in the class of 2011.
“He bends very, very well, moves his feet very well. When he puts his gear on, he doesn’t strike you as an Aaron Lynch or Stephon Tuitt (physically), but when he gets in there, he’s got a demeanor of an offensive lineman and he’s got some real athletic ability.
Thirty-nine seniors will be honored Saturday on Senior Day at Notre Dame Stadium. Some are fifth-year seniors. Some will be invited back for a fifth year. Some will not. Some are walk-ons.
Here’s a rundown of the scholarship seniors, how they were rated nationally in analyst Tom Lemming’s Top 100 coming in and what their 2011 status is.
-- Mike Ragone: Rated as the No. 13 prospect overall and nation’s top tight end. Underwent his third reconstructive knee surgery in 6½ years six weeks ago. Has been actively involved as a student assistant coach of sorts since suffering the injury in game 2 this season. Ragone could petition the NCAA for a sixth year, since he lost the entire 2008 season to injury.
-- Gary Gray: Rated No. 54 coming out of high school. Has started all 10 games this season a boundary cornerback.
-- Harrison Smith: Smith was rated No. 89 coming in. He is ND’s only permanent captain this season and has started 10 games this season at strong safety.
-- Taylor Dever: Unrated out of high school, Dever is ND’s starting right tackle.
-- Andrew Nuss: An unrated prospect coming in, Nuss has played in all 10 games, backing up at guard and center.