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Two Notre Dame Athletes Heading to UMass

(Deion Walker, a fifth-year eligible player from Notre Dame, will finish his career at UMass/The Observer)

The Maroon Musket has learned that UMass has added a pair of fifth-year eligible players from Notre Dame.

Deion Walker, a wide receiver, and Hafis Williams, a nose tackle, will play for the Minutemen next year, according to a source that could not comment further since the school has not released an official statement yet.

Both players should be able to play immediately.

Williams and Walker saw limited time for the Irish last year, but both were highly touted recruits coming out of high school. Williams was a three-star tackle ranked 35th in the nation at his position, according to Rivals. Williams played in 13 games as a junior for the Irish, but only saw action in five games this past season. Check out his Notre Dame profile here.

Walker wasn’t able to crack the two-deep at Notre Dame and only saw minimal time during his time in South Bend. Out of high school, Walker was a four-star recruit that had offers from a who’s-who of BCS programs, according to Rivals. Walker must enter next season as an odds-on favorite to start, as the Minutemen lost most of their wide receiver depth to graduation. Check out his profile here.

Molnar likely already knows both athletes from his time as Notre Dame’s offensive coordinator.

Walker and Williams are the most recent fifth-year eligible players to head to UMass this offseason. Michael Cox, a running back from Michigan, opted to spend his final year of eligibility in Amherst a few months ago.

8 Comments

  1. Will says:

    Obviously we have a glaring need at WR, but I am not going to get my hopes up too much due to the fact that Molnar was the one who didn’t give the kid playing time in the first place. He must like him enough to bring him to UMass, but it is odd that as a coordinator it seems like he gave Walker minimal time. Thoughts?

    1. SJGMoney says:

      I’m just going to throw it out there that this kid is not better than say… Michael Floyd? A guy like that will keep you glued to the bench, as will others that ND has on their team. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say ND has 10 WRs who were better than anybody on our team, they’ve been recruiting the cream of the crop for ever and we’ve been recruiting 1AA players.

      Molnar wouldn’t take him unless he’s starter material for us, he’s only got this one year left, it’s not like we are grooming him for 2-3 years down the road. We have no depth, no experience and no size at WR. This kid was rated one of the top 25 WRs in the country 4 years ago; I bet we don’t have anybody who was a top 250 WR in the country 4 years ago on our roster.

      1. Udaddy says:

        Agreed- these ND transfers are coming to start.

  2. SJGMoney says:

    Great move for both parties. Kids get to play and we get some veterans familiar with Molnar’s offense. God knows we need WR help and adding depth to the O-line only improves our strongest component.

    @Bob on a separate note, congrats on graduating law school, good luck with the bar exam.

    1. SJGMoney says:

      Looks like I have reading comprehension issues, where did I go to college again? NOSE tackle, not TACKLE. Which is even better because we have no depth on the defensive line. Anyone that watched the second half of the spring game saw how few defensive linemen there were. The first and second string LBs and DBs would come on and off the field while the dee line would just stay on the whole time. Was talking with coach at the UMass Club event about the lack of d-line depth and it was his biggest concern by far.

    2. Bob McGovern says:

      Thanks bud, much appreciated.

  3. Andy says:

    Sounds great. Hope they can contribute immediately. Wide receiver position was thin and they both sound like players with some game experience. How do 5th year eligible players work out roster/scholarship-wise? Are they on scholarship or is there another arrangement?

    1. Bob McGovern says:

      I believe they will be on scholarship, which isn’t a problem since UMass has a few to spare.







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