Notre Dame’s receivers exodus continued Thursday afternoon with current freshman Braylon James the third Irish receiver announcing plans to enter the transfer portal this week, the same week that Marcus Freeman announced Chansi Stuckey would no longer be his receivers coach.
James appeared in just four games for Notre Dame this season, a scout team player preserving a year of eligibility, and he made one 12-yard catch against Pittsburgh.
“Once again, Irish Nation thank you for letting me be a part of this amazing culture,” James wrote on Twitter. “Notre Dame will always hold a special place in my heart, yet I look forward to my next opportunity.”
James fell behind three other freshmen receivers this season, classmates Rico Flores Jr., Jaden Greathouse and Jordan Faison combining for 57 catches for 851 yards and nine touchdowns. That said, none of them are distinct boundary receivers, where James may have succeeded down the line.
Instead, his departure furthers what will be an issue for Notre Dame in 2024 unless it dips heavily into the transfer portal itself, an issue that has limited the Irish offense each of the last two seasons. Notre Dame simply does not have enough bodies at receiver.
Assuming none of senior Chris Tyree, sophomore Tobias Merriweather or James returns to South Bend from the transfer portal, the Irish currently have six receivers on the roster for 2024 with three recruits expected to sign their National Letters of Intent next month. Of those nine, seven would be freshmen or sophomores next year.
A former four-star recruit, James chose Notre Dame over two other finalists, Stanford and TCU, though plenty of top-tier programs showed interest in the Texas product.
INTO THE TRANSFER PORTAL
Fifth-year defensive end Nana Osafo-Mensah
Fifth-year center Zeke Correll
Senior receiver Chris Tyree
Sophomore receiver Tobias Merriweather
Freshman receiver Braylon James