Notre Dame CB Nick Watkins to play as graduate transfer elsewhere

Chris Collins | The Observer

Notre Dame cornerback Nick Watkins repeatedly said this spring that he was determined to finish his college career with the Fighting Irish.

Nick Watkins' interception of a Sam Darnold pass in Notre Dame's 49-14 victory against USC in October was the first of his Irish career.

"When I chose to attend Notre Dame, my primary goal was to earn a degree from this prestigious University, and I'm proud to say that I'll achieve that goal", he wrote in his Twitter post. "With that being said, I'll search for a new school to attend for my a year ago of college football". They've meant so much to me. "I've grown so much here and I appreciate all the valuable lessons that I've learned". His eight pass break ups and nine passes defensed were second on the team last season, trailing only Julian Love.

In terms of his transfer's effects on the team, it was becoming considerably more evident that Watkins was on his way out as a starting cornerback.

Then sophomore Troy Pride Jr. replaced Watkins in the starting lineup for the final four games.

Watkins' final season with the Irish was his best, as he totaled 29 tackles in 12 games and hauled in the only interception of his college career, which came in Notre Dame's 49-14 victory over No. 11 USC on October 21. Hayes had said he was transferring to Oklahoma before deciding this week that he was heading to Georgia. However, things look pretty good when put in perspective.

Watkins would have been a key part of the cornerback rotation in 2018, but the decision to leave gives him an opportunity to become a more full-time starter and to get even more snaps in his final season.



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