Former Notre Dame linebacker Jack Lamb will chase his happy ending at Colorado

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

In the stretches in which Jack Lamb played injury-free for Notre Dame, it was easy to see why once projected him as the No. 2 player overall in ND football’s 2018 recruiting class and the No. 2 inside linebacker nationally.

But Lamb’s Notre Dame career had largely been one comeback story after another, because he couldn’t stay healthy, and he finished the 2020 season at No. 4 on the depth chart at buck linebacker.

On Jan. 5, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Temecula, Calif., product entered the transfer portal, and Thursday he announced he’ll chase his happy ending at Colorado.

On schedule to complete his degree work at Notre Dame in May, Lamb would have at least two seasons of eligibility at his new school.

He’s one of seven Notre Dame players to hit the portal since the Irish (10-2) ended the season in the College Football Playoff semis Jan. 1 with a 31-14 loss to eventual national champ Alabama.

He’s the seventh and final one to find his landing spot.

Safety Houston Griffith, the only ND player in the 2018 class rated higher than Lamb (Nos. 43 and 77, respectively), was the only one of the seven who made a U-turn and opted to stay with the Irish.

Running back Jahmir Smith (Appalachian State), wide receiver Jafar Armstrong (Illinois), center Colin Grunhard (Kansas), cornerback Isaiah Rutherford (Arizona) and defensive end Ovie Oghoufo (Texas) all have committed to — if not enrolled at — new schools.

Lamb’s best season was 2019, when he was a third-down specialist until a serious hip injury, suffered in a 21-20 win over Virginia Tech on Nov. 2, ended his season. ND head coach Brian Kelly later would classify the torn hip muscle as career-threatening.

Lamb recorded seven tackles — including two tackles for a loss with one sack — one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in eight games before being sidelined.

Lamb suffered a knee injury in 2017 that wiped out most of his senior season at Great Oak High School, then was intermittently hurt as a mid-year enrollee in the spring of 2018 and the ensuing fall as a true freshman.

In 2020, he played in all 12 games. He amassed 13 tackles, most of which came on special teams.

Notre Dame linebacker Jack Lamb (31) has been battling a lingering injury during ND’s training camp.