Former Notre Dame football tight end finds new SEC home

Ex-Notre Dame football tight end Holden Staes has figured out he'll be playing for an SEC squad in 2024.

Sep 16, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish tight end Holden Staes (13)
Sep 16, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish tight end Holden Staes (13) / Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
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While things are definitely looking up for the Notre Dame football team heading into the 2024 campaing, the irish have had an inordinate amount of players that have decided to seek playing time elsewhere since the transfer portal opened earlier this month.

Tight end Holden Staes is one of the many Irish players who decided the grass is greener somewhere else. Until Friday it was still an open question where that green grass might lay. Now Staes has found his new home, with the Tennessee Volunteers. Staes announced on social media that he'd picked the SEC school.

It certainly makes sense that Staes would decide on the Vols. Tennessee routinely runs a two-tight end offense, but they have a bit of a problem there. Jacob Warren and McCallan Castles have exhausted their eligibility and moved on. Now Staes will try to step in and take over a starting role.

Staes is a 6-foot-4, 242-pounder from Atlanta. Because of that, it makes sense that he's moving on from South Bend to Tennessee as it's a little closer to home. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining, which means he can fill both a short- and long-term need for UT. Of course, there had been a hope that he'd fill that same position with the Notre Dame football team.

Ex-Notre Dame football tight end finds new home

Staes was never really the contributor Marcus Freeman and company hoped he would be. As a member of the Fighting Irish, Staes played in 22 games with 9 starts. In 2023, he had 15 receptions for 176 yards and 4 touchdowns as a sophomore.

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That performance was enough to give Notre Dame football fans hope that he might have an even bigger role in 2024. Now it will be up to Tennessee Volunteers fans to see what he can do.