Notre Dame sophomore tight end Aliz’e Jones will miss the entire season due to academic issues, coach Brian Kelly confirmed this afternoon. Jones will be allowed to practice with the team, but not play.
Jones, a huge recruit in ND’s 2015 class, started five games last year and caught 13 passes for 190 yards. However, while those numbers might not look like much, he was the second-leading returning receiver on the 2016 team (Torii Hunter the only one ahead of him), and was slated to take on a much bigger role in the offense this season, no matter who plays quarterback.
Jones, of course, is only the most recent in a long line of expected key players to be declared academically ineligible the past few years, beginning with Everett Golson in 2013 and continuing with the ‘Frozen Five’ in 2014 and Greg Bryant (RIP) in 2015.
For his part, Jones posted a message on Twitter owning up to his shortcoming in the classroom and emphasizing that he will stay at Notre Dame, saying he “love[s] Notre Dame and everything about it”.
“I’m going to be a better student, teammate, player and man,” Jones added. “While I won’t be able to help my brothers on Saturdays, I’ll do whatever I can to help this team achieve its goal of winning a national championship.”