OLYMPIA FIELDS — Could Notre Dame be in the market to add a former five-star running back?
Ty Isaac was granted his release from USC this week and will transfer somewhere closer to his hometown of Joliet, and he fits the profile of the kind of player Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly looks for in a possible transfer.
"For a traditional transfer, my preference is they have three years of eligibility and they're the right academic fit and of course positionally, it makes sense," Kelly said at the Irish Legends Fundraiser at Olympia Fields Country Club. "There's not a backlog of players at that particular position."
Without directly referencing Isaac, Kelly said there's not a positional backlog at running back if someone were to transfer and be eligible for the Irish in 2015. Notre Dame will lose Cam McDaniel to graduation after the 2014 season, leaving Tarean Folston and Greg Bryant atop the Irish depth chart in 2015.
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Like Bryant, Isaac was rated by Rivals as a five-star class of 2013 running back out of Joliet Catholic. He held an offer from Notre Dame along with Illinois and Northwestern, similarly local programs. Whether USC would let Isaac transfer to Notre Dame remains to be seen, though former coach Lane Kiffin allowed running back Amir Carlisle to transfer to Notre Dame in January 2012.
Isaac said on Wednesday that he hasn't yet started the process of looking at schools. But Kelly, again without mentioning any names, said he's plugged in to plenty of transfer situations — presumably, Isaac's included.
"I always got my ear to the ground about transfers," Kelly said. "There's transfers right now that we're looking at. We're on top of what's going on right now."