Notre Dame offensive leaders receiver Chris Tyree and center Zeke Correll enter transfer portal

Pittsburgh v Notre Dame
Pittsburgh v Notre Dame

A pair of Notre Dame offensive veterans announced intentions to enter the transfer portal Monday evening, making for three totalt his week. Both could still return to the Irish roster in 2024, but that seems far more likely for senior receiver Chris Tyree than for fifth-year center Zeke Correll, if for either at all.

Tyree moved to receiver from running back this past season, in part because Notre Dame had a bounty of quality running backs, in part because it had a crippling dearth of bodies at receiver and in part because it could conceivably help Tyree’s allure to NFL front offices.

He caught 26 passes for 484 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Irish in receiving yards and in yards per catch among players with 15 or more snags.

“My love for this University will never waiver, and I will always be proud to say that I earned my degree from Notre Dame,” Tyree wrote on Twitter. “... After many conversations and prayer, I’ve come to the heartfelt decision to enter my name into the transfer portal as a graduate.”

Tyree ends his Irish career as one of only four players in the last 40 years to score via rush, reception, punt return and kick return, totaling 2,106 yards from scrimmage with another 1,178 return yards, 17 combined touchdowns.

That array of skills is why there was some necessity to Tyree placing his name into the transfer portal. He could, theoretically, be a welcome addition to a Playoff contending offense, and those particular roster spots will begin to fill up before Notre Dame plays in its bowl game, whether that is on Dec. 28 (the Pop-Tarts Bowl) or New Year’s Day (the ReliaQuest Bowl). Tyree owes it to himself to learn what option may be available to him while those spots remain open.

And one of those possibilities could still be the Irish. As long as Notre Dame will have him, an entry into the transfer portal does not preclude that. Tyree is a respected piece of the roster, his willingness to change positions last offseason strengthened that, and his peers presumably recognize and understand the personal need to ponder all potential future paths.

All of which is to say, entries into the transfer portal typically go elsewhere, but not always.

The odds of Correll returning to Notre Dame are slimmer, if for no other reason than the Irish can better afford to lose him. Not to undersell a three-year starting offensive lineman, but Notre Dame has offensive line depth, as evidenced by sophomore Ashton Craig stepping into Correll’s absence in the last two games.

A concussion sidelined Correll during the Irish loss at Clemson, one that kept him in protocols through this past weekend. He ends his Notre Dame career with 31 starts in 39 games, his first starts coming at center in the 2020 Playoff run when then-starting center Jarrett Patterson suffered his own injury.

Correll long struggled to put on and keep on quality weight, slowing his ascent into the starting line, but he eventually grew to be listed at 306 pounds this season. With his experience, Correll may be the rare offensive lineman in the transfer portal that can help a Playoff contender.

It is not a position that can be built well via immediately-eligible transfers, just look at Colorado, but it is one where the appropriate piece and fit can solve a team’s hole. In that respect, portal entrants as rare as Correll often quietly command notable name, image and likeness rights agreements.

Notre Dame can, to some extent, trust its recruiting and depth to replace Correll, burgeoned by Craig’s November showing.

Fifth-year defensive end Nana Osafo-Mensah
Fifth-year center Zeke Correll
Senior receiver Chris Tyree

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