Now that Aaron Lynch has decided that he no longer wants to play football at Notre Dame, where will the talented defensive end land?
He has stated that he wants to go back home to Florida. The major powers in that state, of course, are Florida, Florida State, Miami and South Florida.
ICONWill Aaron Lynch be blocked from going to a major Florida power?
Whichever program lands him will be getting a 6-6, 270-pound specimen who had a standout freshman campaign for Brian Kelly and the Irish. Besides Manti Te'o, he was arguably the best defender on the team and was the program's best pass rusher since Justin Tuck. The one-time FSU commit led the team in sacks last fall with 5.5 and was also fairly stout against the run.
Losing Lynch's pass-rush ability especially hurts because the Irish have to replace both starting cornerbacks. Kelly and defensive coordinator Bob Diaco will need to rely on getting pressure on the quarterback to help out a green secondary. The loss of Lynch puts more pressure on fellow end Stephon Tuitt and outside linebacker Ishaq Williams, two sophomores who are expected to be a big part of Diaco's defense.
In terms of Lynch's future, Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com had an interesting nugget of information in his Friday Mailbag piece, noting that he was told by a source that the Irish will not release Lynch to Florida, Florida State or Miami, and that Skip Holtz and South Florida were the odds-on favorite to land the defensive end. If this is in fact true, Lynch could appeal such a block. Keep in mind the backlash that Maryland head coach Randy Edsall received when he initially blocked quarterback Danny O'Brien from going to Vanderbilt.
The argument for the Irish would likely be that they don't want Lynch to go to a school that is on a future ND schedule. However, Kelly and Co. recently just accepted running back transfer Amir Carlisle from USC, so how much weight will that argument carry with the Trojans and Irish meeting every season?
We'll certainly continue to monitor this situation, but whichever program lands Lynch will be getting one of the better up-and-coming pass rushers in the country.
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