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Notre Dame football punter Bryce McFerson enters NCAA Transfer Portal

Kyle Kellyby:Kyle Kelly04/16/24


A key contributor to the Notre Dame football program has announced his intention to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal. On Tuesday, the first day the spring transfer portal window opens, sophomore punter Bryce McFerson revealed he is leaving the program. 

“I would like to thank (head) Coach (Marcus) Freeman, (special teams coordinator) Coach (Marty) Biagi and (special teams analyst) Coach (Jesse) Schmitt for the opportunity to play on the biggest stage in college football at an amazing institution like Notre Dame,” McFerson said in a statement on social media. “I’ve grown so much in my two years here, and I am very grateful for the relationships I’ve made along the way. 

“That being said, I am entering the transfer portal with three years of eligibility.”

McFerson appeared in 12 games for the Fighting Irish last season — his one and only as the starting punter. Notre Dame did not need to utilize his services during the Week 0 opener against Navy, a game the Irish won convincingly, 42-3, without a punt.

In the 12 games he did appear, McFerson had 38 punts, averaging about 45 yards per boot. Five of those punts ended up within the 20-yard line. 

Because McFerson did not average 3.6 punts per game for the Irish, he did not qualify for NCAA statistics rankings. Still, his 45.1 yards per punt would have ranked tied for 18th in the FBS last season

McFerson’s departure leaves the Irish with just one punter on the roster. Notre Dame lists senior walk-on Chris Salerno as a punter. However, he has yet to appear in a game for the Irish.

Graduate student specialist Eric Goins, who Notre Dame lists as a kicker, handled punting duties during his final season at The Citadel in 2015. Goins’ 43 punts that season registered 1,733 yards, and thirteen of them reached inside the 20-yard line. He began his college career in 2012.

Goins joined the Notre Dame football program this offseason after serving seven years as an active duty officer in the United States Army.

McFerson began his Notre Dame career in 2022. He arrived in South Bend after a decorated high school career at Indian Trail (N.C.) Metrolina Christian Academy.

According to Chris Sailer Kicking, McFerson was the top-ranked punter in the 2022 recruiting class. During his high school senior season, he averaged 46 yards per punt.

Among his other notable accomplishments, he was selected to participate in the Under Armor All-American Game. He was also a second-team Max Preps All-American and a Kohl’s kicking All-American in 2021.

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