Notre Dame football loses talented linebacker to the transfer portal

Nolan Ziegler has decided to move on from Notre Dame football and is the first Irish player to leave in several weeks.

Notre Dame's Nolan Ziegler prior to Notre Dame Fall Practice
Notre Dame's Nolan Ziegler prior to Notre Dame Fall Practice / John Mersits / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Notre Dame football team has been on quite a successful run lately. First there was the 2024 recruiting class that was among the best in the country. Then, offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock was hired. Then a blowout win over Oregon State in the Sun Bowl. And finally, the announcement of Xavier Watts that he was returning for one more season.

All of that good news likely convinced Fighting Irish fans that the party would never stop. However, the record hit a bit of a skip on Friday night when it was reported that linebacker Nolan Ziegler was entering the transfer portal.

Ziegler has not made the official announcement yet, but multiple media accounts reported around the same time on Saturday night that the former 4-star prospect planned on moving on. The loss is one that stands out if for no other reason than there simply haven’t been many departures after the first week that the portal was open.

There was a time when it felt as though the Notre Dame football team was hemorrhaging players. Especially at the wide receiver position right after the transfer period began. However, head coach Marcus Freeman did an admirable job of reversing that trend and eventually adding better players than the ones headed out the door.

Notre Dame football loses talented linebacker to the transfer portal

The story of Nolan Ziegler is an interesting one. Despite being a highly touted prospect out of high school, he hasn’t seen the field much at all since coming to South Bend. Freeman has talked a bit about the player needing to sit out, but never shed much light on why.

Earlier this year, Ziegler himself took to social media to explain his troubles, which were both physical and emotional. 

Next. Notre Dame football social media react to return of Xavier Watts. Notre Dame football social media react to return of Xavier Watts. dark

Now that he’s transferring from the Notre Dame football team, it appears he’s looking for a fresh start.