Notre Dame's Ja'mion Franklin enters name in transfer portal while dealing with impact of COVID-19

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

The recovery from COVID-19 hasn't been easy for Ja'mion Franklin.

On Thursday, the junior defensive lineman Ja’mion Franklin cited the impact the virus has made on him while announcing he has walked away from the Notre Dame football program and has entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal.

"It's very difficult to be typing this, especially given how much I've endured and sacrificed for this season, however after much consideration, talks with my loved ones and prayer, I have decided to take a step away from Notre Dame Football to work on my mental and physical health.

"This has been a very challenging year for all filled with much uncertainty. The trials and tribulations of battling COVID-19, and not recovering to the level I expected to has clearly impacted me in a negative way. I have felt that I have lost control of my mental capacity, and I feel that I need to take time to gather and reevaluate myself. The process of rebuilding myself from the ground up is a much needed step in this stage of my life.

"I love the game of football and I have no doubt that I will be back and better than I ever was, but for the time being I need to regain control over my life."

The 6-foot-1, 310-pound Franklin played against South Florida as a reserve nose guard, but he didn’t play in the last three games for the Irish. Franklin tested positive for COVID-19 in late September and shared some details on social media while dealing with symptoms.

“Whoever thinks Covid is a hoax lmao lemme tell you it ain’t,” Franklin tweeted Sept. 28.

On Sept. 29, Franklin posted the following on Facebook: “Covid sucks! I wouldn’t wish that virus on my worst enemy. Appreciate all the prayers and well wishes tonight is the first night in awhile that I’m not burning up and quaking in my sweat in bed. So thankful.”

The former three-star recruit out of Ridgely (Md.) North Caroline played in nine games last season and recorded four tackles. Franklin’s freshman season ended after four games. He suffered a serious quad injury against Wake Forest that required surgery.

The Irish have settled into a two-man rotation of senior starter Kurt Hinish and backup sophomore Jacob Lacey at nose guard without Franklin. Lacey played more than Franklin last season as a freshman.

"I would like to thank my loved ones for all of their support," Franklin wrote in his statement. "I have come to realize from all of this that I have an army behind me. I'm also eternally grateful to the Notre Dame Football program for taking a chance on me and allowing me to be a part of such a prestigious university. The experience has been nothing short of special and life altering.

"With that being said, I will be entering the transfer portal and looking for a fresh start when I resume my football career."