One intriguing defensive player who intends to enter the transfer portal has ties to Notre Dame football coach Marcus Freeman.
While the Notre Dame football team’s main focus this winter when it comes to the transfer portal is going to be at the quarterback position, it’s a safe bet that Marcus Freeman and company won’t miss the opportunity to go after talented players at other positions. That includes Deshawn Pace.
Pace has been one of the top defenders for the Cincinnati Bearcats but earlier this week, he announced his intention to play his final season of college ball elsewhere. While it’s obviously still very early in the process, one has to wonder whether Freeman could give Notre Dame football a leg up in Pace’s recruitment, should the Fighting Irish decide they want to land the defensive back/linebacker.
Freeman once coached Pace back in 2020 when both were on the Bearcats. Back then Deshawn Pace as a linebacker for the team, while Freeman was the linebackers coach and defensive coordinator.
Freeman joined the Fighting Irish in 2021 at the same position and then ascended to head coach in 2022 after Brian Kelly departed for LSU.
Meanwhile, Pace stayed behind and became the best defender on a team that had some solid performers.
Pace is set to graduate soon and has played a pivotal role in UC’s achievements since joining the program in 2020. Throughout the last three seasons, he consistently received PFF grades of 64 or higher. In the most recent season, Pace achieved a grade of 69.6, ranking sixth among UC defenders.
He’s totaled 247 tackles, 3 sacks, and 6 interceptions as a Bearcat.
Notre Dame football with the inside track?
Certainly it seems as though Notre Dame would have a foot in the door if Freeman and company wanted to pursue the linebacker/defensive back.
The ties between the two men would be just part of the draw. There’s also the fact that the Notre Dame football team had one of the best defenses in the country, thanks to defensive coordinator Al Golden. One would think that would be attractive to Pace as he looks for a new home.