SOUTH BEND — A new defensive coordinator and a new scheme gave new hope to safety Spencer Perry that he’d be a depth-chart climber for the Notre Dame football team this spring.
Targeted for the new rover position in coordinator Mike Elko’s defense, the sophomore-to-be struggled to find traction through ND’s first nine of 15 spring practices, never rising above fourth in the pecking order and often taking reps behind walk-ons.
On Thursday, the 6-foot-2, 209-pounder announced his intentions to start over somewhere else.
“Thanks to The University of Notre Dame for the opportunity to pursue my education and play football,” Perry wrote. “All the best to my advisors, professors, rector, teammates, coaches and the Fighting Irish fans. At this time, I am electing to transfer and continue my educational goals and football career elsewhere.”
He leaves ND having played in six games during the 2016 season, mostly on special teams, without recording a tackle or any other statistic.
Perry hails from Newnan, Ga., but finished his high school career at national prep powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
From a size standpoint, the former three-star prospect was a considered ‘tweener. And many of the scholarship offers he received were predicated on him being a project that could perhaps grow into a linebacker.
Senior Drue Tranquill and junior Asmar Bilal have emerged as ND’s top options at rover. June arrival, freshman Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah will likely get a long look in August training camp. Perry’s skill set was not considered complete enough to play a traditional safety spot.
Perry enrolled early at ND, in January of 2016. His departure leaves Notre Dame one over the NCAA scholarship limit, at 86.