The start of Notre Dame football preseason practice Wednesday came with the announcement of three players ending their Irish careers with medical disqualifications.
Grad transfer running back Trevor Speights, senior wide receiver Isaiah Robertson and junior offensive lineman Cole Mabry will no longer be active players for the Irish. All three remain on scholarship at the university, but their scholarships will not count against the NCAA limit of 85 per roster.
The release did not include information on which injuries ended the careers of each player.
The 5-foot-11, 203-pound Speights announced in May he was joining the Irish following graduation at Stanford. Speights, who missed the entire 2019 season with an undisclosed injury, played in 20 games as a sophomore and junior at Stanford and recorded 95 carries for 363 yards and one touchdown.
The 6-foot-2, 204-pound Robertson missed Notre Dame’s only practice of the spring with head coach Brian Kelly saying he was taking care of his academics at the time. Robertson’s playing time decreased since appearing in 12 games mostly on special teams as a freshman in 2017. The former safety played in six games in 2018 but did not see the field last season. He finished his Notre Dame career with eight tackles, all of which came as a freshman.
The 6-foot-5, 279-pound Mabry played in just one game in two seasons with Notre Dame. He saw action in the 66-14 blowout over New Mexico last season.
Of the trio, only Speights seemed to have a chance of making an impact this season. He brought experience to a running back group light on production.
Instead the Irish will forge ahead with five scholarship running backs: senior Jafar Armstrong, juniors C’Bo Flemister and Jahmir Smith, sophomore Kyren Williams and freshman Chris Tyree.
The Irish still have 12 scholarship wide receivers and six scholarship offensive tackles.
The deduction of three scholarships from the NCAA count puts Notre Dame at 86 projected scholarships. That includes former walk-on offensive lineman Colin Grunhard, who head coach Brian Kelly put on scholarship for the 2019-20 school year.
Notre Dame hasn’t publicly released an updated roster for the 2020 season, which is still scheduled to start on Sept. 12 against Duke, meaning the scholarship math could still be resolved without Grunhard reverting back to walk-on status.