When all is said and done, the Notre Dame football team has to be happy with the way things turned out in the transfer portal. The Irish got plenty of talent through the portal this year, including the odds-on favorite for the starting quarterback in 2024.
There were some very big gets for the Fighting Irish. Leonard was just one. There were also some big additions at wide receiver and a special pass rusher who joined his former teammate from Duke in South Bend.
However, there were also some big losses for Marcus Freeman and company. There will be a push for some to forget that some talented players decided to depart. For whatever reason, there was one position room that took a bigger hit than any other.
Even if Notre Dame football could pick up the pieces and limit the damage, the Golden Domers would almost certainly not have been made if they could have kept them in the fold. One of the team’s leading receivers is right there at the top of that list.
Rico Flores was one of those wide receivers whose depature was a bit of a blow mostly because it came right when the transfer portal was opening. Because of that, there was a bit of a panic that things were going to go poorly in the offseason.
Flores actually led the Notre Dame football team's wide receivers in catches with 27 and was just two away from Mitchell Evans' team lead of 29. He was also third on the team in receiving yardage with 392. Though he did only find the endzone once in 2023.
Perhaps most disconcerting about his departure is he did all that in his freshman season. His future looked bright. Now he'll be continuing his career with the Cal Bears.
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