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Notre Dame loses two receivers to transfer

By Tom Fornelli | Staff Writer

Alabama and Virginia Tech will play for the
Neal is leaving to be closer to his newborn daughter. (USATSI)

Notre Dame is losing receivers Davonte' Neal and Justin Ferguson as both will be leaving South Bend. Coach Brian Kelly confirmed the news Wednesday morning.

While Kelly would not go into the reasons behind either transfer, Neal's father told Blue and Gold Illustrated his son's leaving had nothing to do with the school, but a personal matter.

“The reason for Davonte's transfer is that he's the father of a 6-week-old baby girl with his girlfriend that he has dated since seventh grade,” Luke Neal said. “The plan was to move his girlfriend and his baby to South Bend, but Davonte' just felt the need to be closer to his family and his girlfriend's family at this time.

“It's a situation that I've been talking to Davonte' about the past four months, and he's finally realized he wants to be involved in his daughter's life closer than from a distance at Notre Dame.”

Neal was a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Arizona (2010-11, 2011-12).

Ferguson's father told the Blue and Gold Illustrated that while his son didn't give a specific reason for his transfer it was "more a level of comfort."

Neither receiver saw a lot of time on the field last season, though Neal did return 21 punts for a total of 46 yards. Still, the loss of Neal along with the transfer of Gunner Kiel means Notre Dame has lost a few top members of its 2012 recruiting class. Cornerback Tee Shepard left the school only a few months after enrolling last year as well.

"This is a process every year we go through: You have some additions, you have some deletions," Kelly told the Chicago Tribune. "But we didn't miss a step."

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