Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Going back to Cali? | by Pat

Tight end Konrad Reuland has withdrawn from school and will transfer.

“Basically, it came down to the fact I wasn’t happy with where I was,” the 6-foot-6, 255-pound sophomore from Mission Viejo, Calif., told the Tribune via cell phone Monday. “It was combination of things, not just football, not just the school. I wanted badly to be happy again, and felt this move was the best thing for me.

“I realize Notre Dame is a very special place. I wouldn’t have picked it from all the schools in the country if it wasn’t. But it didn’t work out for me on a personal level. I felt the change was the best.
Reuland's transfer makes some sense from his point of view. He came into ND as the 3rd ranked tight end and 81st player overall in the class of 2006, according to Rivals. Yet as a freshman he was already behind fellow classmate Will Yeatman on the depth chart. He was looking to get more playing time this year, but freshman Mike Ragone has really been pushing him for playing time and according to those who are at practice, he has passed him on the depth chart.

Besides contending with Yeatman and Ragone for playing time, Reuland likely looked at the incoming class as potential competition as well. Kyle Rudolph, currently the 25th overall player in the class of 2008, and 6'8 Joseph Fauria are both coming in as tight ends. All in all, this was a smart move for Reuland who hopes to latch on somewhere with more opportunities for playing time.

After the soap opera that was the Demetrius Jones transfer, Reuland went about making sure his departure wouldn't involve nearly as much drama.
“This wasn’t an impulsive decision,” he said. “I actually finally made up my mind that I was leaving last Wednesday. I just wanted to make sure I took the right steps to make this as positive a move for everyone involved. I didn’t want to be a distraction for myself, my teammates and the coaching staff. I want the best for them too.”
He met with Charlie on Sunday after playing in the Michigan State game -- he was in as a blocker on both touchdown runs -- to discuss his intentions.
“After meeting with Konrad Reuland on Sunday, he has decided he will leave the team and withdraw from Notre Dame,” Weis said Monday in a statement. “I appreciate all Konrad has done for Notre Dame, and I wish him nothing but the best.
As for the somewhat curious decision to leave the program four games into the season, it appears that by leaving now he may be able to salvage a year of eligibility.
The 6-foot-6 Reuland played in seven games last season, and played in three of Notre Dame's four games this season. Ralf Reuland said his son would still have three years of eligibility left.
The reason he'd be eligible for three more years is that the NCAA looks at the academic calendar, not the sporting one. If a player can enroll in a new program by the 12th day of class, that semester will count towards their transfer penalty, making them eligible the following season. Still, it doesn't appear that Reuland's path has been set yet.

Former Mission Viejo High tight end Konrad Reuland was given his release to transfer from Notre Dame, and one of the schools with high interest is UCLA, according to sources.

Reuland's father, Ralf, was asked if the interest was mutual.

"Oh, yeah. That was one of the top schools for him before he decided on Notre Dame," Ralf Reuland said. "(Notre Dame) just wasn't a good fit for him. Konrad really wasn't happy. It's more than just football. The losing had nothing to do with it."

The preliminary plan for Reuland, who is a sophomore, is to attend a junior college for a year, earn his associate's degree, and then enroll in a four-year school.

However, a move to UCLA this fall is not impossible. UCLA does not begin classes until Thursday, and a player has until the 12th day of the quarter to enroll. It is unlikely Notre Dame would release Reuland to UCLA before the Oct. 6 matchup with the Irish, but he could be released after the game. That would still give him time to enroll at UCLA.

Update: A bit of clarification on the eligibility issues mentioned above. Reuland can only play football for two more years. He does not have three years like his dad claims. Once you play in a game, baring a medical exemption, a player has effectively used up one year of academic eligibility. Since Reuland has played in games both this year and last, he has used up two years of eligibility and can only play for two more.

However, the transfer rules regarding the 12th day of classes still apply with regards to the one year in-residence transfer penalty. If Reuland enrolls before the 12th day of class, he will be eligible to play in 2008 and will have three years -- since he still has a redshirt year option -- in order to play two. If he does not enroll by the cutoff, he will be forced to sit out the 2008 season, and in effect burn his redshirt year, and then can play in 2009 and 2010. Check SavageDragon's post on ndnation for more information.

Scholarship-wise, there have been a few changes since we last took a look at the numbers for ND, so here's another quick breakdown of where the Irish stand at the conclusion of this season.
Potential 5th year candidates: 7
Seniors: 15
Juniors: 26
Sophomores: 18
Add those numbers up and you get 66 scholarships currently in use. This includes senior-to-be Thomas Bemenderfer and junior-to-be Eric Maust. Bemenderfer was awarded a scholarship prior to the start of the season and once he started playing, Eric Maust's scholarship should transfer from a baseball one to a football one per NCAA rules.

With the 85 scholarship restriction the upper limit, the Fighting Irish have 19 available scholarships to give out in the current recruiting cycle, assuming all potential 5th year players will be back in 2008. As it turns out, Notre Dame currently has 19 verbally committed recruits, meaning that all 85 scholarships are spoken for, to some degree. Of course, not all seven 5th year candidates will be back next year. I don't think it's particularly fair at this point to guess who will or won't be back, but it's safe to assume that not all of them will return. Therefore, barring any more attrition, for each 5th year player that does not return, Notre Dame has room for another freshman, up to the 25 scholarship limit for the freshman class. In other words, expect ND to pick up a few more recruits this year and wind up with 20 to 25 new freshman for 2008.