Botelho, Flemister, Diggs unavailable for Notre Dame football against Florida State

Tyler James
ND Insider

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Notre Dame football announced three players listed on this week's depth chart will not be available to play Sunday night against Florida State: defensive end Jordan Botelho and running backs C'Bo Flemister and Logan Diggs

The announcement came 90 minutes before kickoff in following a policy that was put in place last season to clarify the changing status of availability during the COVID-19 pandemic. The designation doesn't necessarily mean players have tested positive for COVID-19 or must be sidelined as part of contract tracing protocols, but that was often the case last season.

Prior to kickoff, a Notre Dame spokesperson declined to provide details on why Botelho, Diggs and Flemister weren't available Sunday night.

Jordan Botelho during Notre Dame football practice Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, at the Irish Athletics Center in South Bend.

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Botelho was listed as the No. 3 vyper defensive end on this week's depth chart behind junior Isaiah Foskey and senior Justin Ademilola. Though he totaled only four tackles in playing mostly special teams in 11 games last season as a freshman, Botelho was expected to carve out a niche role in Notre Dame's defense with some pass rushing ability and high school linebacker experience at Honolulu St. Louis.

Before Notre Dame started camp in August, speculation on Botelho's status ran rampant online. But head coach Brian Kelly said he expected to be available for the season.

"He's cleared to play and compete," Kelly said on Aug. 6. "I don't know how else to answer the question."

Kelly commented on Botelho's progress again on Aug. 19.

"He’s been really active," Kelly said. "We think he’s going to be a guy that shows up for us. We like Jordan. He’s a good story. He's really done a nice job in the classroom. He's going to be really active for us and make plays for us."

Flemister, a senior, was listed as Notre Dame's third-string running back behind junior Kyren Williams and sophomore Chris Tyree. Flemister finished the 2020 season fourth on the team in rushing with 299 yards and five touchdowns. He played in 20 games in his first three seasons with the Irish.

Diggs, a freshman, showed his potential to make an impact in preseason practice. The Irish didn't seem likely to need the former three-star recruit from Metairie (La.) Rummel with three experienced backs ahead of him.

With Flemister and Diggs out of the lineup, fellow freshman Audric Estime should serve as the team's third-string running back. The 6-foot, 228-pound Estime flipped his commitment from Michigan State to Notre Dame late in the recruiting process as a four-star recruit from Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph Regional.

Follow ND Insider Tyler James on Twitter: @TJamesNDI.