Notre Dame had to wait until the seventh round before its first player was picked in the NFL Draft Saturday.
Tight end Ben Koyack was selected by Jacksonville with the No. 229 pick in the draft, meaning the Irish weren't shut out in the NFL Draft for the first time since 1977. Koyack is the sixth consecutive Notre Dame starting tight end to be picked in the NFL Draft.
Four Irish players -- Koyack, wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive back Cody Riggs and kicker Kyle Brindza -- were considered Day 3 prospects. The three undrafted players signed deals with teams after the draft, with Daniels signing with the Vikings, Brindza with the Lions and Riggs with the Titans.
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Notre Dame had four players request evaluations from the NFL Draft Advisory Board in December, but all four passed on turning pro. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley was considered by some as a first-round prospect while offensive lineman Nick Martin and defensive tackle Sheldon Day likely would've been selected sometime this weekend in Chicago. Quarterback Everett Golson would've been in the mix to be picked, too.
Stanley and linebacker Jaylon Smith, if the latter player declares early, could be first-round picks in 2016.
Notre Dame didn't have a player selected in the 1977 NFL Draft, though running back Al Hunter became the first player ever selected in the NFL supplemental draft that year.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will compete for the ACC crown this football season.
The conference announced their updated slate of games on Wednesday, with the Fighting Irish as a de facto conference member for the 2020 season.
Included in that schedule is a marquee matchup against the defending champion Clemson Tigers, however there will be no revival of the rivalry between Miami and Notre Dame.
Notre Dame will also play one non-ACC opponent at some point this season, but that opponent has yet to be determined. Notre Dame typically plays USC and Stanford every season, but those games won’t be played since the Pac-12 previously said it will only play in-conference this season.
To go with their honorary status in the ACC, if Notre Dame wins the ACC championship game but is not selected for the College Football Playoff, they will be eligible for an Orange Bowl bid.
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The Navy-Notre Dame football game that was set to be played in Ireland has been relocated to the United States, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Notre Dame announced on Tuesday that the game which was originally going to take place in Dublin on Aug. 29 will “likely” be played over Labor Day weekend, either on Saturday or Sunday.
The teams plan on playing at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, which will be a first in the 94-year rivalry history. Every previous matchup hosted by Navy has been played at a neutral site.
“We are obviously disappointed not to be traveling to Ireland this August,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. “But, as expected, our priority must be ensuring the health and safety of all involved.
“I am expecting that we will still be able to play Notre Dame as our season opener, but there is still much to be determined by health officials and those that govern college football at large.”
Jack Swarbrick, Vice President of Notre Dame, and James E. Rorh, Director of Athletics at Notre made a joint statement as well.
“Our student-athletes have had great experiences competing in Ireland and are very disappointed not to be returning to Dublin in 2020,” they said. “The change of venue has been a very difficult decision for our colleagues at the Naval Academy, but we are in full support of their choice. We are also grateful for everything our partners in Ireland have done to make this a smooth transition. We look forward to going back to Ireland for a game in the not too distant future.”
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