NOTRE DAME — Scratch two more players from the Notre Dame football roster.

Fighting Irish receiver Torii Hunter Jr. announced Thursday that he will not exercise his final year of college football eligibility and will instead pursue a professional baseball career, while suspended cornerback Devin Butler said on Twitter that he is transferring to Syracuse.

Hunter, the son of former All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter, caught 38 passes for 521 yards and three touchdowns for the 4-8 Irish this season. He was among the team's captains.

"It's hard to believe that my time at Notre Dame has come to an end," Hunter Jr. said as part of a statement. "This university has provided me all the necessary tools, including an information technology management degree, to transition smoothly into the next phase of my life.

"After long consideration and prayer, I've decided not to pursue a fifth year at the University of Notre Dame, but rather follow a dream of playing professional baseball with the Los Angeles Angels."

Hunter mised time this past football season after suffering a Week 1 concussion and later dealt with a nagging knee injury suffered against Navy.

He was drafted by the Angels in the 23rd round of the last Major League Baseball player draft. He had played sparingly on the ND baseball team.

Butler, meanwhile, said on Twitter that he will receive his Notre Dame degree this month and play his final season of eligibility next fall as a graduate student at Syracuse.

Butler pleaded guilty in October to a misdemeanor charge of resisting law enforcement stemming from his Aug. 20 arrest after an altercation with a police officer in South Bend. The 21-year-old agreed to a plea bargain in exchange for two felony charges being dropped.

He missed all of the 2016 season after being suspended indefinitely by Notre Dame.

"With my situation, I really wanted to go to a program where the coaches would really support me," Butler told 247Sports. "The Notre Dame coaches definitely supported me, but I just wanted a place where I can re-write my narrative. That's Syracuse. I wanted to put the bad light away and off my name."

Butler appeared in 37 games and started three for the Irish, with 39 tackles, six pass breakups, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one interception.

Earlier this week, ND quarterback DeShone Kizer announced he's leaving early to pursue an NFL career.


(1) comment


"I just wanted a place where I can re-write my narrative."
Translation - Scholarship: Pulled

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