In 2023, the University of Notre Dame Football program anticipates a significant impact from a small but skillful group of transfer students. The Fighting Irish have traditionally adopted a conservative stance regarding transfers, as head coach Marcus Freeman prefers a focused strategy.
Although other football programs welcomed up to 20 off-season transfers, Notre Dame opted for a select few, including Wake Forest’s well-regarded quarterback, Sam Hartman. Hartman is known to be within the top 20 college football passers in terms of yards and touchdowns, and thus is poised to invigorate the Fighting Irish’s offense.
Nevertheless, the defensive side was the more active participant in the transfer portal. Incoming talent includes Ohio State’s defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Oklahoma State’s Thomas Harper, who plays the nickel position, and Antonio Carter II, a safety from Rhode Island.
Jean-Baptiste, having proved his worth within Ohio State’s formidable defensive line in recent seasons, is primed to bolster the Fighting Irish’s pass rush as an ever-present defensive end. He is similarly expected to vie for the starting field end position following an impressive spring training period.
Thomas Harper is set to have a large role to fill in his position as nickel, stepping into the shoes of the departed TaRiq Bray. Notre Dame’s safety lineup has experienced many offseason changes, making the late-stage acquisition of Antonio Carter II particularly helpful. Both Harper and Jean-Baptiste, along with Sam Hartman, were winter enrollees who honed their talents during the spring practices.
Carter’s additional advantages include two seasons of eligibility remaining, thus potentially filling a substantial role for an extended period. The transfers are slated for major contributions within the defense, which houses sizable returning depth. The squad hopes the performance of these players will be instrumental in enhancing defensive abilities in the upcoming season.