Notre Dame OL Dillan Gibbons looks to continue his depth chart climb — elsewhere

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

The covert storyline that really never made it into the mainstream was just how steep the climb was in overcoming multiple debilitating injuries for Dillan Gibbons to become relevant on the Notre Dame football depth chart.

Now the Irish offensive lineman will chase the happily-ever-after part of the saga. But somewhere else.

The 6-foot-4, 309-pound Madeira Beach, Fla., product announced on Thursday via Twitter that he was entering the transfer portal, roughly two weeks before he picks up his Notre Dame degree.

“Committing to Notre Dame on April 4th, 2015, was the easiest decision that I’ve made in my life,” he tweeted. “Choosing to leave has been the most difficult decision I’ve made to date. Those who know me understand that I leave Notre Dame fulfilled and without regrets.”

Gibbons, a three-star recruit who played his high school ball at Clearwater Central Catholic, played in 29 games for the Irish, including the lone start of his career — on Senior Day against Syracuse on Dec. 5.

He redshirted as a freshman in 2017 and earned Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year honors at season’s end.

Gibbons will be immediately eligible at his new school and will have at least one year to play — two if the COVID exemption year is exercised.

According to Gibbons’ father, Shannon, 2020 was the first season in which Dillan did not undergo surgery during his Irish career. He suffered fractures of his fifth metatarsal (foot) multiple times.

Gibbons opened spring practice in late March vying for a starting offensive guard position. He was overtaken by freshman Rocco Spindler during the 15 sessions that ended Saturday with the Blue-Gold Game.

In that game, Gibbons played center, a position he might have backed up at had he opted to stay at ND,

The Irish are loaded with offensive line talent in their depth, but not necessarily experience. Gibbons, as a backup, would have provided both.

Notre Dame reserve offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons (76) entered the transfer portal on Thursday.