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Notre Dame Football

Marcus Freeman Discusses Notre Dame WR Room and Sun Bowl Logistics

December 4, 2023

Notre Dame football has been quite busy since head coach Marcus Freeman spoke last Monday. 

The program has seen several departures and Freeman let receivers coach Chansi Stuckey after stating he hoped the staff would stay together. 

Freeman was able to provide some clarity on why he needed to make a change within the receiver room in the hours following last Monday’s press conference. 

“From the last time we spoke, it was 24 hours of deep thought and difficult conversations with a lot of players and coaches regarding our overall performance at wideout,” explained Freeman. “I had to make a difficult decision. I’m truly thankful for Chansi and everything he’s done and given to this program, but we had to move forward. That’s what we’re going to do.”

In addition to Stuckey being no longer part of the program, Notre Dame also saw receivers Chris Tyree, Braylon James, Tobias Merriweather and Rico Flores Jr. enter the Transfer Portal. 

Tyree, who visited Virginia over the weekend, holds a degree from Notre Dame and Freeman made it clear he understood why grad transfers entered the portal, while the second-year head coach expressed his disappointment in those who didn’t earn a degree in South Bend.

“When guys earn their degree and are seeking more playing time or a different opportunity, I’m supportive of that,” stated Freeman. “I’m always disappointed when a guy leaves without his degree.” 

There wasn’t all bad news as Freeman did confirm ISD’s report over the weekend that true freshman receiver KK Smith would be active for the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl as he missed the regular season following shoulder surgery. 

“Both Deion (Colzie) and KK will be available,” Freeman said. “This is obviously KK’s first real practice. We’ve only had two practices so far, but I’m excited to see him as he continues to progress.”

When it comes to logistics, Notre Dame will arrive in El Paso on Christmas Eve and the program will be busy between then and now with recruiting and preparations for Oregon State. 

"We’ll be back this weekend from recruiting and have a couple practices,” said Freeman. “We have to go back on the road and are players will have finals. After the following week, recruiting will be over and then we’ll dive deep into the practice plans. We’re going to give them a couple days to go home before we get to El Paso on the 24th.

“The next two weekends we’ll practice and during the week we’ll be on the road recruiting and then we’ll have a good 5-6 days before we let our players go home.” 

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