Safety Chris Badger is no longer a part of Notre Dame’s football program. Per a report from Jake Brown of IrishIllustrated.com, the reserve safety has left the program and plans to enroll at BYU.
The Provo, Utah native was originally recruited by Charlie Weis, enrolled early for spring practice then went on a two-year Mormon mission. He returned to the program last summer and did not play last season, saving a year of eligibility.
Per Jay Drew, the BYU beat writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, Badger will attempt to gain immediate eligibility this season. Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune adds that the appeal will hinge on the health of Badger’s mother, who is ill and unable to travel. (BYU is in Badger’s hometown.)
The Irish depth chart looked ominous for Badger, who was buried deep behind some talented safeties. When Badger enrolled early in South Bend, there was no two-deep depth chart to speak of, with Badger joining a position group that included only Dan McCarthy, Harrison Smith, Jamoris Slaughter and Zeke Motta as returning scholarship players. Compare that to today, where the Irish opened camp with eight scholarship safeties, with Badger at or near the bottom of that group.
BYU starts classes on Tuesday. If the NCAA allows Badger to play this season, it’ll create the unique circumstance of having a player go through all of training camp with a team that he’ll compete against later that season.