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Notre Dame RB Logan Diggs enters transfer portal, costing Irish strong and proven rushing duo entering 2023

Notre Dame’s well-stocked stable of running backs suffered a notable loss late Thursday when junior running back Logan Diggs announced he will enter the transfer portal. Diggs led the Irish with 165 carries last season, gaining 822 yards and scoring four touchdowns.

“This has been the hardest decision of my life, but I know with faith and belief all things are possible,” Diggs wrote on Twitter. “I have decided to enter my name into the transfer portal. Thank you ND.”

Diggs combined with classmate Audric Estimé to drive Notre Dame’s ground game in 2022, a vital need with an offense that was stifled in the passing game. The duo combined to gain 1,776 yards and score 15 touchdowns while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. That was nearly 69 percent of the total Irish rushing yards on nearly 63 percent of the carries (sacks adjusted).

Simply put, Diggs’s entry into the transfer portal is a loss for Notre Dame, arguably the first loss as far as expected 2023 production goes since the 2022 season ended and inarguably the most notable in terms of expected 2023 production.

Without Diggs, the Irish now turn to sophomores Jadarian Price and Gi’Bran Payne to back up Estimé, who becomes the unquestioned bellcow of the group. Price is recovering from an Achilles injury suffered last summer, an injury that often takes at least a year to come back from, if not a bit longer. Incoming freshman Jeremiyah Love will join them in the summer.

Senior Chris Tyree moved to receiver these spring practices and, in time, found a fit there. That move was sparked by a need to get Tyree the ball, as he is a speedy offensive possibility, while not taking away from Estimé’s and Diggs’s effectiveness. That latter want is no longer as distinct a priority, but it could also be argued Notre Dame needs receiver depth these days, with only nine scholarship receivers expected on the roster in 2023, including both Tyree and former walk-on Matt Salerno.

In other words, Estimé’s load just got heavier than anyone’s.

As a piece of the 2021 recruiting class, Diggs could never visit South Bend while pondering his choices due to pandemic-imposed restrictions. When the calendar reached the week he would need to sign on the dotted line, Diggs put off a public announcement while LSU aggressively pursued him. He is from about an hour away from Baton Rouge, and that local push made him reconsider his Irish pledge.

He eventually signed with Notre Dame, announced on the old-fashioned National Signing Day in February, only to have rumors pop up less than a year later when Irish head coach Brian Kelly bolted for LSU. Diggs squashed those rumors, but now that he is in the transfer portal, LSU must be considered a likely destination.

Diggs’s carries and yards would have led Tigers’ running backs last year, just for context.

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