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Irish wide receivers decide to transfer

The SportsXchange

Two sophomore Notre Dame wide receivers -- Davonte' Neal and Justin Ferguson -- have decided to transfer, coach Brian Kelly said Wednesday morning.

"The reason for Davonte's transfer is that he's the father of a 6-week-old baby girl with his girlfriend that he has dated since seventh grade," Davonte' Neal's father, Luke, told Blue and Gold Illustrated. "The plan was to move his girlfriend and his baby to South Bend, but Davonte' just felt the need to be closer to his family and his girlfriend's family at this time."

Neal was a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Arizona (2010-11, 2011-12).

"It's a situation that I've been talking to Davonte' about the past four months, and he's finally realized he wants to be involved in his daughter's life closer than from a distance at Notre Dame," Luke Neal said.

Neal's father expects his son to transfer to a school in California. When Neal signed last February with Notre Dame, his finalists also included Arizona, North Carolina and Arkansas.

Neal's playing time was minimal as a freshman. He caught one pass for minus-5 yards and returned 21 punts for 46 yards during the Irish's run to the BCS national championship game.

Ferguson's father did not give a specific reason for his son's decision other than it was "more a level of comfort."

Ferguson was a four-star recruit and one of the top recruits in last year's Irish class. While he saw action in 11 games, he caught only one pass in the season opener against Navy.

Kelly, according to the Elkhart Truth, was not surprised by either move, despite many believing Neal had the inside track to one of the starting spots next year.
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