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Virginia Tech WR graduate transfer to consider Notre Dame

Marshall v Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, VA - DECEMBER 1: Wide receiver Eric Kumah #83 of the Virginia Tech Hokies catches a touchdown pass against the Marshall Thundering Herd in the first half at Lane Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)

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In the A.M., a question about Notre Dame’s desire, or lack thereof, for a graduate transfer. In the P.M., a Power Five-contributing receiver discussing a graduate transfer to join the Irish.

Sometimes coincidence serves content’s good.

Virginia Tech rising senior Eric Kumah will visit South Bend in February as he ponders where to continue his playing career. Kumah has two years of eligibility remaining.

The Hokies’ second receiver, Kumah caught 42 passes for 559 yards and seven touchdowns last season, including four receptions for 48 yards and a fourth-quarter score against Notre Dame. As a sophomore, he caught 28 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns in 2017.

Kumah’s intended departure is part of a skill position exodus this offseason for Virginia Tech, of note for Irish fans with the Hokies visiting Nov. 2.

Are there rules regarding the recruitment of grad transfers? How much is ND ever interested in aggressively shopping the market for grad transfers? — knuterocknesghost

When already sitting at 87 — and really more like 88 if including incoming freshman linebacker J.D. Bertrand, currently allowed to be on an academic scholarship — with another commit quite possible next week, pursuing graduate transfers further compounds what is already a roster crunch.

For Notre Dame, 12 receivers are already on the roster, including two returning starters in Chase Claypool and Chris Finke. Adding the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder would add to that positional depth in a way arguably unnecessary, but a two-year contributor to a usual ACC contender is someone to bring on board if possible.

Broadly-speaking, that has been the Irish approach to graduate transfers. If a player comes from a program stocked with talent, sometimes talent needs to head elsewhere to break through. For example, Freddy Canteen was a speedy recruit who was stifled by injury at Michigan. With a scholarship available, Notre Dame pulled him in as a low-risk, high-reward receiving possibility. Cam Smith came from Arizona State with a thorough understanding of then-new offensive coordinator Chip Long’s system. His 61 career catches for 908 yards and six touchdowns upon arrival mirror Kumah’s stats (70, 893, 9).

Neither Canteen nor Smith contributed much in an Irish uniform due to injury — the same could be said for Florida graduate transfer defensive back Cody Riggs, though he managed to start 11 games — but that alone should not stymie Notre Dame from further pursuing the avenue.

All that said, these players are transferring for a reason. They have not produced enough to test draft waters and are unsatisfied where they are, typically due to a lack of playing time deriving from, again, a lack of production. Viewing graduate transfers as an instant solution to a roster deficiency is to look past actual results and pin hopes entirely on theoretical potential.

As for the rules regarding recruiting graduate transfers, they parallel a usual transfer. Once a name is in the transfer database, schools can contact the player. He can take up to five official visits before making his decision.

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