SOUTH BEND – Receiver Shaquelle Evans apparently lost patience in finding his role in Notre Dame’s offense.
Coach Brian Kelly said Evans, a sophomore, asked for and was granted his release Monday.
Evans, a former U.S. Army All-American from Inglewood (Calif.) High School, played in six games last season. He had seven receptions for 61 yards, but he didn’t play in the last four games of 2009.
Kelly said Evans is free to transfer wherever he wants.
It would be easy for me to say he just needed to be patient, but he didn’t see it that way, Kelly said Tuesday. We were happy with his development. He was moving in the right direction.
Former Dwenger standout Tyler Eifert also moved in the right direction and will back up starting tight end Kyle Rudolph in the season opener against Purdue at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Notre Dame Stadium.
The 6-foot-6, 242-pound sophomore impressed the coaching staff as he earned more time with the first-team offense because Rudolph was limited by a hamstring injury and Mike Ragone, last season’s backup tight end, missed some of fall camp after suffering a heat-related illness.
Tyler right now looks like a BCS football player, offensive coordinator Charley Molnar said. In the spring, we really couldn’t see it. He was somewhat limited at times. But this camp, he has really stepped to the forefront.
Eifert played in the final quarter of last season’s opener against Nevada before a bulging disc ended his freshman season and nearly his career.
After trying a rehabilitation regiment, Eifert had surgery in January to shave back the disc and open the nerve ending to stop the pain down his leg.
A year ago, I didn’t know if I was going to still play because of my back. At that point, I never would have guessed that I would be here right now, said Eifert, whose father, Greg, played basketball for Purdue.
I’m just hoping to make the most of my opportunity.
There is still an opportunity for Nate Montana to grab the backup role behind starting quarterback Dayne Crist, despite freshman Tommy Rees being listed as No. 2 on Monday’s depth chart.
Kelly said he would continue to evaluate the backup quarterback position this week and throughout the season.
Tommy Rees is the No. 2 quarterback because there were only two slots to fill out. I didn’t have a 2A and 2B, Kelly said. There is no No. 2 and No. 3. I don’t think it’s accurate to say that (Rees has) nailed that position down.
Notre Dame will also evaluate the health of three linebackers.
Kelly said Steve Paskorz will be out at least three weeks with a strained knee, and David Posluszny is doubtful for the opener with a hamstring injury. Anthony McDonald, who is also dealing with a knee injury, is making progress and could play Saturday, Kelly said.