Notebook: More freshmen arrive at Notre Dame; Darnell Ewell exits Irish roster

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

Of Notre Dame’s 12 late-arriving scholarship football freshmen who get their first taste of summer school Monday, the one most worth watching, strictly for entertainment purposes, may be Isaiah Foskey.

The 6-foot-5 defensive end from Antioch, Calif., has muscled up 20 pounds to 250 since his Concord De La Salle High School team’s season ended six months ago.

The potentially amusing part could be how and where he practices his pass-rush moves.

At De La Salle his senior year, Foskey would study the top NFL edge players on film, then act out the moves he liked in the hallways of the all-boys Catholic school.

“I’d have one person put their hands on my shoulders,” he said of the routine. “Or when I’m going around the corner, I would do a quick swim move around it. Walking down the hallway, I just do it.”

A record 10 of his ND football classmates enrolled early in January. Of the 12 June enrollees, only three are offensive players — quarterback Brendon Clark, and wide receivers Cam Hart and Kendall Abdur-Rahman.

Three linebackers join them — Osita Ekwonu, Marist Liufau and JD Bertrand — as well as safeties Kyle Hamilton and Litchfield Ajavon, cornerbacks Isaiah Rutherford and K.J. Wallace, and defensive tackle Howard Cross III.

Notable among the invited walk-ons is 5-11, 215-pound kicker Harrison Leonard from Jamestown, R.I. Leonard, who played at Avon (Conn.) Old Farms, is expected to challenge for the place-kicking job and kickoff duties.

Notre Dame training camp kicks off Aug. 4 in Culver, Ind.

Ewell exits roster

The enigmatic football career of junior nose guard Darnell Ewell is over but apparently not his academic pursuits at Notre Dame.

ND head coach Brian Kelly told the Tribune that Ewell will take a medical hardship, a move that leaves the Irish at the NCAA-mandated scholarship limit of 85.

“He’s had some issues relative to the stress of the game and academics and managing all that’s going on,” Kelly said. “I can’t get into the specifics of it. He’s staying in school. He’s going to get his degree. He’s excited about his future in terms of academics here at Notre Dame, and that’s a good thing.”

Ewell came to ND from Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk, Va., as one of the most celebrated recruits in the 2017 class. He held offers from Clemson, Ohio State, Michigan, Miami, Penn State and Tennessee, among others.

He originally worked at nose guard at ND, then offensive guard, then back to nose guard this past spring. The 6-foot-3, 340-pound did not appear in a game in his college career.

McIntosh to Washington State

Former Notre Dame running back Deon McIntosh has landed at Washington State, according to several websites that cover the Cougars.

McIntosh spent the 2018 season at Eastern Mississippi Community College after being dismissed from Notre Dame in January of 2018.

He rushed for 1,150 yards on 200 carries (5.8 per carry) for the Lions (12-0), who edged Garden City Community College, 10-9, for the NJCAA national title on Nov. 29 in Pittsburg, Kan.

McIntosh ranked second in the NJCAA with 17 rushing touchdowns. He also had 19 catches for 113 yards in 2018. In the title game, he rushed for 69 yards on 18 carries and caught one pass for nine yards.

McIntosh redshirted as a freshman at ND, bounced around between wide receiver and running back in the spring of 2017, then was a surprise performer in the fall of 2017. He was dismissed from the program by Irish coach Brian Kelly after running for 368 yards on 65 carries and five TDs in eight games during the 2017 season.

Notre Dame defensive end target Isaiah Foskey, a four-star recruit, will announce his decision during National Signing Day on Feb. 6.