Notre Dame offensive lineman Caleb Johnson enters transfer portal

On3 imageby:Tyler Horka04/19/23


Notre Dame offensive lineman Caleb Johnson, who left the Fighting Irish program before the start of spring practices, is officially in the NCAA transfer portal. confirmed Johnson’s entrance into the portal Wednesday afternoon.

Johnson redshirted in 2021 and was a reserve lineman deep down the depth chart in 2022. A four-star recruit and the No. 341 overall prospect in the recruiting class of 2021, Johnson will have three years of eligibility to spend wherever he heads next. The redshirt sophomore hails from Ocala, Fla., and played his prep ball at Trinity Catholic.

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Notre Dame is not hurting for offensive linemen. The Irish are slated to have 17 of them on scholarship in 2023. Johnson was competing for a backup tackle spot with the likes of senior Tosh Baker and sophomore Aamil Wagner heading into the spring. Those two have taken strong command on the right to back up starters Joe Alt and Blake Fisher. Notre Dame also has sophomore Ty Chan and freshmen Charles Jagusah and Sullivan Absher at the offensive tackle position.

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It’s possible Alt and Fisher are both in South Bend for only one more season. They’re high-level 2024 NFL Draft prospects. That’ll open up two starting spots, but Johnson still had to fend off Baker and Wagner to earn one of them. It was not trending in his favor to do so. Jagusah will arrive at Notre Dame this summer as the highest-ranked player in Notre Dame’s class of 2023, too.

The Irish have a clear direction at offensive line under the direction of new position coach Joe Rudolph. Head coach Marcus Freeman and Rudolph see eye to eye on wanting to recruit the right players and the desire to coach them to the point of being solid pros. Johnson is no longer in that vision, but the Irish shouldn’t suffer much as a result. Given the current construction of the roster and where it’s headed with future recruiting classes, Johnson hitting the portal was one of those situations in which it was the best for both parties.

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