Notre Dame junior Lorenzo Styles enters transfer portal

Mike Berardino
ND Insider

SOUTH BEND — So much for Lorenzo Styles playing both ways in Saturday’s Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium.

Styles, a junior wide receiver, has entered the transfer portal. Friday’s news comes just three days after Styles said all the right things about his willingness to give cornerback a try at the urging of the coaching staff.

On Thursday morning, upon Styles’ selection at the Blue-Gold draft, a thunderous cheer broke out in the Notre Dame football auditorium.

Notre Dame wide receiver Lorenzo Styles Jr. (4) runs after making a catch during the Notre Dame vs. Stanford NCAA football game Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

Notre Dame Vs Stanford Football

Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman, doubling as the draft commissioner, certainly tried to sell the pick with gusto.

“The Gold team opens up the athlete position,” Freeman announced, “and selects the only athlete on our football team, Lorenzo Styles.”

The 15-day spring window for undergraduates to enter the transfer portal runs through April 30.

Lorenzo Styles:Junior mulls move to cornerback as Notre Dame's depth blossoms at wide receiver

An early enrollee in January 2021, Styles said Tuesday he is about a year and a half — or three semesters — from completing work toward his degree.

“This is a great (academic) program,” he said. “That’s a big reason I came here.”

Asked directly several times on Tuesday if the portal might be a consideration, Styles sidestepped the question.

“I’m just working on my game every single day, trying to get better,” he said. “I just take it day by day, focus on what I need to do, the task at hand. That’s really it.”

Lorenzo Styles' fade

In a span of six games, dating to the Fiesta Bowl loss against Oklahoma State, Styles made 27 catches for 396 yards and two touchdowns. Over the final eight games of 2022, however, Styles was held to just 11 catches for 80 yards and no touchdowns.

He dropped a pass in four of his final eight games after a pair of drops, both against Cal, through the first five games.

“I’m a football player,” Styles said Tuesday after his first full practice on defense. “If they want me to go catch some passes, I’ll go catch some passes and make some plays. If they want me to go lock some people down, I can go do that too. I feel pretty confident in both.”

More:Ben Morrison on historic freshman year; Styles on the move to DB?

Younger brother Alex “Sonny” Styles is a sophomore safety at Ohio State, where their father, former NFL linebacker Lorenzo Styles, also played.

“I grew up in a defensive family,” the younger Lorenzo Styles said. “They love to see me on that side of the ball for sure.”

With Styles and reserve offensive lineman Caleb Johnson entering the portal, along with the recent medical retirement of Virginia Tech grad transfer receiver Kaleb Smith, Notre Dame’s projected roster is back to the 85-scholarship limit. That includes 2023 signees, including transfers, who aren’t due to enroll until June.

Chris Tyree’s successful transition to slot receiver this spring and the emergence of three early enrolled freshman wideouts caused Styles to lose career momentum.

“The depth and overall production of the room as a group,” receivers coach Chansi Stuckey said Wednesday, “has softened that quote-unquote blow.” 

Follow Notre Dame football writer Mike Berardino on Twitter @MikeBerardino.

Blue-Gold game coverage

For coverage of Saturday's Blue-Gold game go to and see Monday's South Bend Tribune.