Gi'Bran Payne should depart Notre Dame football, according to analyst

  • Gi'Bran Payne is part of a crowded Notre Dame football room
  • Locked on Irish analysts believe it might be time for him to go

Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Gi'Bran Payne (3)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Gi'Bran Payne (3) / D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
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The Notre Dame football team officially kicked off its spring practice earlier this week, though we’re going to have to wait for them to finish Spring Break before we start really learning about what the Fighting Irish are going to look like in 2024.

We of course do know a few things about this new-look version of the Fighting Irish. Riley Leonard will be the starting quarterback, there will be some new wide receivers showing off what they can do, and there will be a log jam at running back.

On that topic, the most recent episode of the Locked On Irish Podcast tackled the subject of the running back room. In the process Tyler Wojciak and Luke Smith discussed what they expected to happen in spring practice and Smith believes that the crowded RB room should get thinned out a bit.

In particular, Smith said that he thinks it’s time for Gi’Bran Payne to “learn transfer portal.”

While Smith admitted that his take was a little harsh, he made it clear that he believes that it’s time for the Notre Dame football player to move onto another school. And it appears he’d like to see Payne do that to save the Irish coaches from themselves a bit.

Notre Dame football star should ‘learn transfer portal’

“It was frankly inexcusable that he [Payne] was the third-down back last year, and he got as much playing time as he did,” Smith said. “I'm sure he's a fine running back, but you look at all the talent that Notre Dame had. He had no business in the field last year, and I know that Dylan McCullough has a system, and he picks out jobs for each of his guys. That simply can't be a thing this year.”

Smith went on to say that he believes that the spring would be a failure for Notre Dame football if Gi’Bran Payne doesn’t leave or isn’t gently pushed out. 

Wojciak chimed in that he didn’t have as strong an opinion on Payne that Smith did, but he did think that the rotation for running backs needed to be changed.

“Considering what Notre Dame had last year,” the podcast host said. “And what they have this year, I'm with you. I think that the rotation needs to be a lot shorter”

The sophomore back carried 45 times for 168 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2023. His best game of the season came against Stanford when he carried 6 tmes fro 35 yards and a touchdown.

We’ll have to wait and see if anything shakes out for the Notre Dame football team and Gi’Bran Payne