Notre Dame cornerback Nick Watkins repeatedly said this spring that he was determined to finish his college career with the Fighting Irish. But that won’t happen after the graduate student announced Thursday that he plans to transfer before his fifth and last year of eligibility.
“When I decided to attend Notre Dame, my primary goal was to earn a degree from this prestigious University, and I’m proud to say that I’ll achieve that goal,” he wrote in his Twitter post. “With that being said, I’ll search for a new school to attend for my last year of college football.”
— Nick Watkins – N.C.W (@WhippinTheNick_) April 26, 2018
Watkins is set to graduate with a degree in May and will be able to play immediately wherever he lands as a graduate transfer.
The DeSoto, Texas native earned a starting role with the Irish to begin last season, but he lost his job during November. In 9 starts, he recorded 29 tackles, 8 pass breakups and an interception during the 2017 season.
Notre Dame’s top three cornerbacks all returned this year, so Watkins was again staring at being a reserve player. Rather than play in a rotation and only in Dime packages, Watkins has decided to seek a starting role elsewhere.
So while it’s unfortunate to see Watkins leave, the Irish aren’t exactly hurting because Notre Dame might have more depth at cornerback than any other position on the roster.