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Will USF get Notre Dame transfer?

Posted Apr 13, 2012 by Joey Johnston

Updated Apr 13, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Notre Dame rising sophomore DE Aaron Lynch, from Island Coast High School in Cape Coral, said Friday he will transfer after the spring semester because he wants a return to Florida. Could that mean Lynch (6-foot-6, 270 pounds) will surface at the University of South Florida?

Josh Newberg of Bulls, one of the most plugged-in followers of the recruiting world, wrote on his Twitter feed that he expects Lynch to enroll at USF “possibly by this summer.’‘

Lynch, a member of the Football Writers Association of America national all-freshman team, was one of ND’s most promising young players in 2011, playing in all 12 regular-season games and starting six, finishing with 33 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks.

“I’ve always known and appreciated the affinity Aaron has for his home in Florida,’’ Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. “However, the stark reality is you can’t make it at Notre Dame if your head and heart are not here. I am proud of the effort Aaron made in the classroom and on the field at Notre Dame. I wish him all the best in the future.”

“I want to thank Coach Kelly for giving me this great opportunity to attend Notre Dame and be part of the Fighting Irish football family,” Lynch said. “This was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make, but I want to go back home to Florida. I’m grateful to Coach Kelly for understanding and allowing me to return home.”

The conditions of Lynch’s transfer weren’t immediately known. Coaches often can strike potential destinations off a transfer’s list.

Lynch’s high-school recruitment was a roller coaster. He committed (then de-committed) to Notre Dame. He committed (then de-committed) to Florida State. About three weeks before National Signing Day in 2011, he committed to Notre Dame and followed through on that pledge. Lynch said one of the hardest parts of his decision was saying no to FSU coach Jimbo Fisher, with whom he had built a close relationship.

He was the nation’s third-best defensive end and 28th-best prospect overall, according to

Lynch got an up close and personal look at the Bulls last Sept. 3, when USF went into South Bend, Ind., and defeated Notre Dame 23-20. Lynch played in a reserve role and had one assist on a tackle in the backfield.


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