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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Roster Updates, JD Price Return Trending Up

March 23, 2023
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Notre Dame football is back on the field as the Fighting Irish opened spring practice with a morning session on Wednesday. There is always an excitement level as football is back and it’s a time for players to grow into spots or make moves up the depth chart. 

The unfortunate piece to the first day of spring practice is roster are updated and the departures from the program come to light. 

Junior Will Schweitzer (linebacker) announced just before practice started that he would be medically retiring from football and will continue to pursue his degree from the Mendoza College of Business. The California native stated he had a non-football-related medical event last fall that caused a congenital heart condition and will step away from the game of football. 

Classmates Justin Walters (safety) and Ron Powlus III (quarterback0 also are not on the roster as both are now medically retired from the football program. 

And if the 2021 recruiting class wasn't hit hard enough, Freeman announced cornerback Philip Riley, offensive lineman Caleb Johnson and kicker Joshua Bryan are no longer with the program. There has been no public statement from any of the three players, but it certainly seems like the trio plan to stick around to earn their degree from Notre Dame. It is worth noting the next Transfer Portal window for college football opens on May 1st. 

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On the injury front, Notre Dame enters the spring relatively healthy, which bodes well for the future. Senior tight end Kevin Bauman and sophomore tight end Eli Raridon will miss the spring as they recover from ACL injuries from the fall.

Early enrollee safety Adon Shuler is coming off February shoulder surgery and he won’t do much if anything at all this spring as the staff wants to be cautious to make sure he’s ready for fall camp. 

Fellow early enrollee defensive lineman Devan Houstan also had shoulder surgery and won’t do much this spring as he was still in a sling on Wednesday morning. 

Sophomore running back JD Price tore his Achilles last summer and missed his freshman season, but Freeman made it clear the Texas native is trending in a positive way. 

"He'll progress to do more,” stated Freeman. “I don't know if he'll be full go, but he's done a lot of running and see him progressing to more and more actual football practice."

All five players were present at the first practice and were working in The Pit to keep their conditioning up. 

Graduate students Cam Hart (cornerback) and Thomas Harper (safety) both had shoulder surgeries in recent months, but both were dressed and going through individual drills on Wednesday. Freeman was pleased Harper and Hart were on the field, but he doesn’t expect them to do too much over the next month. 

“They are non-contact,” Freeman said. “They can do some different things, but they won’t be allowed to truly have contact with the shoulder pads on. I would love to see them both go out and have contact but we have to be smart and understand that they had shoulder surgery late last year and our doctors will let us know when they can do.” 

Spring football is an important time for Notre Dame, but Freeman also wants to see his team stay healthy and he believes they’ve prepared well over the last 2.5 months to put themselves in a good position to handle the workload. 

“You obviously don’t want to see injuries,” said Freeman. “That takes preparation from our strength staff and they’ve done an unbelievable job throughout the winter and spring of getting our guys to a level that they can practice for 18 or 19 periods today. We had a lot of team reps and didn’t have anyone get pulled and no injuries. That is a credit to our strength and medical staff. They’ve done a great job.” 

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