Notre Dame junior RB Greg Bryant will not play in 2015

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame didn't wait until the start of training camp to take a major hit.

Junior running back Greg Bryant will not play in 2015, Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly announced Tuesday, three days before the Irish open training camp.

"There are certain expectations within our program that must be met on a daily basis," Kelly said in a statement. "Quite simply, Greg did not meet those expectations."

Bryant has been ruled academically ineligible and did not rejoin the team this week in South Bend, his father, Greg Bryant Sr., told Irish Illustrated.

“He’s coming back as a student, having nothing to do with athletics,” Bryant Sr. told Irish Illustrated. “Of course I’m trying to influence him, but he needs to show he can stay at Notre Dame and is capable. He needs to take care of business at Notre Dame.”

The Tribune confirmed earlier this summer that Bryant had been previously suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for a violation of team rules. During this now season-long suspension, Bryant will be allowed to practice with the Irish and will remain on scholarship but will not occupy a spot on the 105-man roster.

It's uncertain that he'll remain at ND to serve the suspension, though there's been no indication otherwise at this point.

Kelly also announced Tuesday that junior linebacker Michael Deeb and junior tight end Mike Heuerman have each been medically disqualified. Both remain on scholarship and will continue to work toward their respective degrees at the university, but they don't count against the NCAA-mandated, 85-scholarship limit.

Bryant — a 5-foot-10, 205-pounder — rushed for 303 yards and three touchdowns in his first two seasons in South Bend. He led the Irish with 5.4 yards per carry in 2014 and also returned eight punts for 94 yards, plus four kickoffs for 85 yards. He was ranked as a five-star prospect out of American Heritage High School in Delray Beach, Fla., in the 2013 recruiting class.

With Bryant's absence, Notre Dame will tout a backfield that includes junior Tarean Folston, senior C.J. Prosise and freshmen Dexter Williams and Josh Adams in 2015. The team may turn to Prosise, Folston, Will Fuller, Amir Carlisle, Torii Hunter Jr. or freshmen C.J. Sanders or Shaun Crawford to return punts and kicks.

A 6-2, 255-pound linebacker, Deeb, a product of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., participated in just two games in his first two seasons at Notre Dame. Heuerman — a 6-3, 225-pound tight end from Naples, Fla. — did not see game action during his Notre Dame career.

When the team exited spring practices, Deeb sat behind graduate student Joe Schmidt, sophomore Nyles Morgan and graduate student Jarrett Grace on the depth chart at middle linebacker. Heuerman was slotted behind junior Durham Smythe, sophomore Tyler Luatua, freshman AlizéJones, sophomore Nic Weishar and graduate student Chase Hounshell at tight end.

With the medical disqualifications of Deeb and Heuerman, Notre Dame sits at 85 active scholarships entering training camp on Friday if defensive end Ishaq Williams rejoins the team. The team needed to cut down to the 85-scholarship threshold prior to the season.

The Irish will hold their first five practices of camp off campus, in Culver, Ind.

University of Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly announced changes to the Irish roster Tuesday.

— Michael Bertsch (@NDsidBertschy) August 4, 2015//

Notre Dame's Greg Bryant (1) is taken down by Te'von Coney (4) during the Blue and Gold Game Saturday April 18, 2015, in South Bend. SBT Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ
Former Notre Dame running back Greg Bryant, here running the ball during Notre Dame's loss to USC on Nov. 29, has committed to UAB. (SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)
Notre Dame’s Greg Bryant exits the field following the the 49-14 loss to USC on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at the L.A. Coliseum in Los Angeles, Calif. SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN