Ex-Notre Dame football OL unretires, finds new school

Zionsville's Joey Tanona (79) defends against Cathedral's Kendrick Gilbert (99)
Zionsville's Joey Tanona (79) defends against Cathedral's Kendrick Gilbert (99) /

Former Notre Dame football offensive lineman Joey Tanona has officially unretired from the sport and decided on the school where he’ll continue his career.

It’s been an extremely interesting transfer portal period for the Fighting Irish. The expected transfers in are of course, newsworthy as well get out.

However, the players that have departed have been interesting as well. There may not be a better story among the players who left the Notre Dame football program than offensive lineman Joey Tanona.

The Joey Tanona story entered it’s next chapter on Friday when the former much-heralded o-line commit announced he’d picked his new school. The player is sticking in the state and will be a Purdue Boilermaker in 2024.

Tanona started the announcement on social media with a simple “I’m back.” He then went on explain why and how he was returning to football.

"“I want to thank everyone who was involved in making this possible. My former high school coaches who broke their backs trying to make something like this possible. I love you to everyone who never gave up on me throughout this struggle. I will always remember you. It’s time to go to work, though, because I owe it to you all to put only my absolute best on the field. I love this game; I love competing and, more so, competing to win. I am excited about what the future may bring, but for now, I can only say is let’s go win some ball games and boiler up!”"

Ex-Notre Dame football player returning to the field

The move to Purdue comes after the former Fighting Irish commit spent the last two years medically retired from football because of concussion issues stemming from a car accident.

Notre Dame football head coach Marcus Freeman talked about the Joey Tanona situation last fall, saying that the accident was a “pretty bad one” and that the offensive lineman simply wasn’t healthy enough to get back on the field.

Earlier this month, the former 4-star lineman announced he had been cleared to return to the sport he loves.

The choice is an especially interesting one because it means he might be going up against his former teammates. Notre Dame football is scheduled to take a trip down to Purdue on Sept. 14 next season.