Jamoris Slaughter's longshot bid for a sixth year of eligibility has come to an end.
Slaughter, who tore his Achilles' tendon Sept. 15 at Michigan State, had been working through an appeal process after the NCAA initially denied him a sixth year of eligibility last month. He continued his rehab on campus at Notre Dame and was one of eight Irish invitees to next week's NFL combine.
On Wednesday evening, Slaughter tweeted an apparent goodbye message: "It's been great ND! Hey you know what they say when one door closes another one opens! #NFLDREAMING."
Notre Dame confirmed Slaughter was denied a sixth year Thursday morning.
"I understood that a sixth year was far from a guarantee," Slaughter said in a statement. "It is sad to know that my time at Notre Dame as a football player is complete, but it doesn't lessen my love for this University and its football program. This decision simply begins the next chapter of my life and I'll be forever grateful for my coaches, teammates and all the Irish fans that supported me throughout my career."
Coach Brian Kelly added: "I appreciate the NCAA taking the time to thoroughly look into Jamoris’ application for a sixth year. Jamoris is a first-class young man and most importantly leaves Notre Dame with his degree. We wish him all the best as he now pursues his dream of playing in the NFL.”
Over Slaughter's five-year career (he didn't play in 2008, his freshman year) with Notre Dame, the Stone Mountain, Ga. native had 98 tackles, one forced fumble, two interceptions, eight passes defended and two sacks. He graduated in May of 2012 with a degree in industrial design from the College of Arts and Letters.
Following Slaughter's injury, Matthias Farley stepped in admirably at strong safety and looks to be entrenched at that position heading into 2013. Zeke Motta, last year's free safety, is off to pursue a career in the NFL, leaving a spot open in Notre Dame's secondary. Blue-chip safeties Elijah Shumate, who mainly played special teams in 2012, and incoming freshman Max Redfield are expected to compete for playing time in 2013. Austin Collinsworth, who missed all of 2012 with shoulder and back issues, should also be in the mix.
Elliott's recovery going well
Notre Dame safeties coach Bob Elliott underwent a kidney transplant on Feb. 6 and is back home following a successful operation.
"The kidney is working well and the future looks bright," a statement from Notre Dame read. "His sister Betsy is healing at home in Dublin, Ohio, and the family is forever grateful for her courage and love."
Elliott received the kidney from his sister. 2012 was Elliott's first season coaching at Notre Dame, and he administered self-dialysis throughout his team's undefeated campaign.
"(He) never missed a day, was out there coaching and working, and he's just a great man," coach Brian Kelly said last week. "He's got great experience. "I love having him on the staff, and he'll get through this. It's a tough time right now for him, but I think you're going to see him back. He's a fighter, and I expect to see him back on the field in the spring."
Nix is No. 1
Defensive tackle Louis Nix will change from No. 9 to No. 1 next season, while five-star incoming freshman defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes will don No. 3. Inside the Irish's Keith Arnold explains the significance of No. 3, seeing as plenty of Irish greats have wore that number.