Davonte' Neal, a five-star wide receiver who came to Notre Dame with much hoopla, will reportedly transfer after a year where he was unable to make a difference anyplace besides special teams, and often struggled there.
The news comes from Jason Sapp of Blue and Gold Illustrated:
Sapp reports that Neal is primarily transferring to better take care of a six-week old child, a development which he probably didn't foresee when deciding to play for the Fighting Irish.
Neal, considered the No. 8 player in the country by ESPN in the class of 2012 as either a wide receiver or cornerback, struggled with his college decision. He was still uncommitted after signing day, and when he finally decided to announce, didn't show up, citing family indecision.
At Notre Dame, his commitment was received quite well by SB Nation's One Foot Down, who wondered if the Arizona native would be able to make an immediate commitment. Neal earned the punt returner role for the Irish, but was not particularly effective, averaging just 2.1 yards per return, and sometimes muffing punts - one in the national championship game, although that one luckily rolled out of bounds.. He was only called upon for two plays from scrimmage - one reception, for a loss of five yards, and one rush, for seven yards, both in the team's season opener. Regardless of family concerns, a lack of ability to break into the depth chart likely weighs into his decision.
It's unclear if and where Neal is considering transferring. It was speculated Neal had wanted to play in Arizona, close to home, before family intervened - if a child at home is his reason for transferring, the Wildcats could be a frontrunner.