Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Notre Dame football.

Saturday, September 15

Jones To Northern Illinois?

It looks like Notre Dame quarterback Demetrius Jones will transfer to Northern Illinois, and it makes perfect sense.

Nothing is official, but if Jones enrolls at the DeKalb, Ill., school by Wednesday, he will be able to redshirt this season and be eligible for next season. It has to do with a NCAA rule that you must enroll within the first 12 days of the start of class. Plus, Jones will be close to his Chicago home town, and he’ll most likely be the starter for the next three years.

That wasn’t going to happen at Notre Dame. Freshman Jimmy Clausen will be the guy for the foreseeable future. Jones likely had dropped to third string behind Evan Sharpley.

In truth, Jones never had a chance at Notre Dame. Clausen was No. 1 coming out of spring, a fact coach Charlie Weis never told anyone. At least, he didn’t tell anyone publicly. What was said behind closed doors remains as murky as a Bill Belichick press conference.

Weis had a good reason to keep things vague -- he didn’t know how Clausen would recover from elbow surgery and he wanted to make sure he had solid candidates in case Clausen couldn’t go. That left Sharpley and Jones still in the hunt for No. 1 and ensured they wouldn’t transfer.

Anyway, Jones started against Georgia Tech, but was benched by halftime. He likely wasn’t going to play ever again at Notre Dame (although there was some speculation he might see action against Michigan because of his running ability; that ended when Jones didn't make the bus trip to Ann Arbor on Friday, although he did practice during the week) unless he changed positions.

This move, if it is finalized, would be in Jones’ best interest. And it won’t hurt Notre Dame except, perhaps, for public relation reasons. The Irish, of course, have far more pressing issues than that.


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