Cal transfer: ND ‘amazing’ option

Cal graduate Avery Sebastian knows enough about Notre Dame to believe it’s a fit, even before an expected winter visit. The safety transfer is in search of a fifth-year landing spot.

Avery Sebastian doesn’t need to see Notre Dame to believe it’s a match.

The fifth-year senior transfer from Cal grew up in Florida and connected with Cody Riggs. Sebastian then spent his senior year at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in Georgia, counting Isaac Rochell as a teammate. He’s spoken to both about Notre Dame in addition to the Irish coaching staff after getting his release from the Golden Bears.

The next step is getting to campus this winter as Sebastian plots a summer transfer.

“Notre Dame itself as a brand is untouchable,” Sebastian said. “It would be an amazing place to land. With the academics and athletics, that is a big thing about Notre Dame that really intrigues me.

“I could mimic Cody Riggs’ schedule as he went through Notre Dame. And Isaac Rochell has had nothing but great things to say about it.”

Sebastian said Auburn, Oregon, Penn State and Louisville have also inquired about taking on the strong safety, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon the first game of his junior year. Sebastian said he has no visits set, although he’s already researched two potential graduate programs at Notre Dame, both rooted in the Mendoza College of Business.

Sebastian also knows Notre Dame’s safety depth chart that returns just two healthy bodies this spring in Max Redfield and Elijah Shumate. Drue Tranquill is coming off a torn ACL while Nicco Fertitta and Mykelti Williams will enroll this summer.

“Notre Dame is a great place with a great team coming back this fall,” Sebastian said. “Coach (Brian) Kelly is looking for little pieces that will help gel the team together, get them to a national championship. I think I can be one of those pieces.

“I’m really high on Notre Dame. I love the school. I could see myself being a fit there.”

Sebastian said he could have returned to Cal after graduating with a degree in sociology with an emphasis on business and media. Instead, he wanted a fresh start for his final year of eligibility.

During his Cal career Sebastian played for two head coaches and three different defensive coordinators. The Golden Bears went 16-33 during that span with just one winning season.

“Learning a fourth defense is going to be a challenge, but I should be able to adjust way better,” Sebastian said. “The transition has to be quick. I have the tools and the coaches at Notre Dame have a lot of experience to help you. I really think I could reach my potential at a school like Notre Dame.”

Sebastian insisted he’s fully fit after being slowed by injury the past two seasons. The Achilles tear during the opening weekend of his junior year wiped out his entire season. As a senior, Sebastian played in just seven games and made one start, finishing with 21 tackles and one interception.

After graduation Sebastian returned home to Georgia, where he’s been training in anticipation of his next step.

“I’ve been able to give my body a rest and it needed it to get back to 100 percent,” Sebastian said. “I’ve been training, ready to make an impact in the fall. I’m healthy, all stretched out, feeling good.”


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