Former Notre Dame WR Jordan Johnson lands at UCF

NDI Staff Report
ND Insider

For the second time in as many days, a former Notre Dame football player in the NCAA's transfer portal has found a new playing home.

And for the second time in many days, that new home is a school in Florida.

Former Irish wide receiver Jordan Johnson, a St. Louis native and five-star prospect coming out of high school, announced Tuesday afternoon on social media that he will play football at the University of Central Florida beginning in fall.

Johnson has all four years of eligibility remaining and a fifth after the NCAA granted all college athletes an additional year because of the global pandemic.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Johnson enrolled at Notre Dame last summer out of DeSmet Jesuit in St. Louis. He played in just two games as a freshman — South Florida and Boston College — and did not record a catch. He didn’t make a catch in the may 1 Blue-Gold Game either despite starting for the Blue team.

Two days later, Johnson announced that he was entering the transfer portal. Johnson’s offer list out of high school included Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State and several others.

Rivals rated Johnson as a five-star prospect and ranked him as the No. 5 wide receiver and No. 28 overall in the 2020 class. 247Sports slated Johnson as a four-star recruit, the No. 11 wide receiver and No. 62 overall.

Johnson’s lack of playing time as a freshman was a bit unusual for five-star recruits at Notre Dame in the Brian Kelly era. Of the 13 Notre Dame enrollees who received five-star ratings from either Rivals or 247Sports since Kelly has been coaching the Irish, only three didn’t play at all as freshmen: quarterback Gunner Kiel (2012), offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (2014) and offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer (2016).

Eight of those five-star recruits played in at least nine games as freshmen. Running back Greg Bryant (2013) only played in three games.

Central Florida finished 6-4 overall, 5-3 in the American Conference. Gus Malzahn enters his first year with the Knights after taking over for former head coach Josh Heupel, who was hired at Tennessee by former UCF athletic Dan White.

Former Notre Dame wide receiver Jordan Johnson needed eight days to figure out a new college home. He'll play next season at UCF.