SOUTH BEND — The redemption game won’t happen now, at least not in a Notre Dame uniform.
Irish wide receiver Freddy Canteen announced Friday on Twitter that he’s leaving the ND program to seek a second grad-style transfer to another program, 99 days before Notre Dame was to open its season against the team with which Canteen began his college career, Michigan.
He departs sort of the way he came in — more of a mystery than anything else. Canteen was an opening –game starter last September against Temple, which turned out to be his only start for the Irish.
Two more games in a reserve role and he was out for the season with a shoulder (labrum) injury that required surgery. Canteen’s one catch for seven yards in 2017 gives him seven for 29 yards and a lone TD against Ohio State in 2014 on his career résumé. One of those receptions have been longer than eight yards.
The 6-foot, 192-pounder from Wilmington Del., will have at least one season of eligibility remaining at his new school, though he alluded to having two more seasons in his Twitter farewell. That would require a petition to the NCAA for a sixth year.
His imminent departure helps alleviate ND’s scholarship crunch. The Irish are now at 86, one over the NCAA maximum. The Irish have to be at 85 by the time fall semester classes begin in August.
“I want to thank Coach (Brian) Kelly, his staff, and the Notre Dame family for the opportunities they provided,” Canteen tweeted Friday on his Twitter account. “My primary focus will be to prepare for a career that expands beyond football.”
Canteen came to Notre Dame last summer after verbally committing in mid-February and just days after he had initially decided to join forced with coach Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic University.
He played his high school ball over the Delaware/Maryland border in Elkton. Md., at Eastern Christian Academy, a school that no longer exists. He faced current ND quarterback Brandon Wimbush at St. Peter’s (N.J.) Prep and left tackle Liam Eichenberg and Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius in high school.
The former four-star recruit was lured to Michigan by former head coach Brady Hoke and saw most of his playing time at either school in his freshman year of 2014. Injuries slowed him thereafter under current head coach Jim Harbaugh, just as they did at ND.
Canteen was healthy in the spring, but wasn’t projected as a key member of the wide receiver rotation once spring practice concluded. The Irish open against Michigan at Notre Dame Stadium on Sept. 1.