Notre Dame dismisses four players, including WR Kevin Stepherson

The offseason has just begun, and it is off to a rocky start in South Bend.

Coach Brian Kelly dismissed wide receiver Kevin Stepherson, defensive tackle Brandon Tiassum, and running backs Deon McIntosh and C.J. Holmes, Notre Dame confirmed on Tuesday. Stepherson, McIntosh and Holmes were all suspended for the Fighting Irish's Citrus Bowl win over LSU.

Stepherson's departure is a big blow to a receiving corps that could have used his services in 2018. Leading receiver Equanimeous St. Brown declared early for the NFL Draft, second-leading receiver Chase Claypool missed the bowl game with a shoulder injury, and Stepherson was the third-most prolific receiver on last year's team. He finished last season 19 catches for 259 yards and a team-high five touchdown catches despite missing the first four games of the season with an undisclosed suspension. 

The absence of McIntosh and Holmes will hurt the Irish offense as well. McIntosh rushed for 368 yards and five touchdowns last year, with Holmes adding another 32 yards on the ground.

With Josh Adams moving on to the NFL Draft early, dual-threat quarterback Brandon Wimbush will need another primary running back in the Irish offense in 2018.  

Tiassum, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound defensive tackle, only managed two tackles in 2017.

Notre Dame will open the 2018 season at home against Michigan on Sept. 1. 

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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