Notre Dame football: Marcus Freeman on Jacob Lacey’s departure

When Notre Dame picked up their first win of the 2022 season against Cal it came with a massive sigh of relief as they stopped the bleeding after an 0-2 start.  Perhaps the biggest star on defense that afternoon for the Irish was defensive tackle Jacob Lacey who recorded a pair of sacks and five tackles on the afternoon.

Fast forward a few short weeks later and Jacob Lacey has officially played his last down for Notre Dame as he announced on Thursday that he’ll be sitting out the rest of the season, redshirting, and transferring out of Notre Dame.

Marcus Freeman did his regular Thursday session with the media via Zoom and discussed Lacey’s departure.

“It’s a position that’s extremely deep. The defensive tackle position is one of the deepest positions we have on our team. Chris Smith will play a little bit more. You’ll see a guy like Gabe Rubio play a little more.  Jason Onye has moved from scout team to getting reps with the defense.

“Lacey was a great player who did a lot of great things for us. But it’s a deep position. He made a decision that ultimately was best for him. We respect it. We love Jacob, and the best thing about it is he leaves here with a degree in his hand. That’s what I want for these young men. If you decide to leave in hopes of going somewhere and playing more, don’t waste this opportunity to earn a degree from this university.”

-Marcus Freeman on defensive tackle Jacob Lacey’s departure

Notre Dame looks to move to 3-2 on the season in their first game without Lacey on Saturday night as they travel to Las Vegas to take on BYU in the Shamrock Series game.

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Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire