Notre Dame’s offensive line depth just took a serious hit.
Last week a source told Irish Illustrated that junior offensive lineman Tristen Hoge will transfer out of Notre Dame after two seasons of reserve work and facing a third on the second-team offensive line. On Monday that news became official when BYU announced Hoge would join the Cougars this summer.
Hoge lost a competition with Sam Mustipher for the starting center job a year ago and never made a push at right guard during spring ball as Alex Bars shifted inside to win that job.
That left the former four-star recruit and U.S. Army All-American with the reserves again, although he had a seemingly clear path to a starting job once this season was complete, potentially a two-year starting career in the left guard spot Quenton Nelson will vacate.
Instead, Hoge will attempt to restart his career at BYU.
Losing Hoge leaves the Irish in a precarious position along the offensive line outside the starting lineup. The projected second string now figures to include some combination of freshman Robert Hainsey, freshman Aaron Banks, fifth-year senior Hunter Bivin, sophomore Liam Eichenberg and junior Trevor Ruhland.
Only Bivin has logged a meaningful snap in his career.
Ruhland is now the only scholarship offensive lineman in the junior class.
Hoge’s transfer is a surprising fall for the Idaho product, who was a national recruit and early enrollee with the Irish two-and-a-half years ago. Hoge was a Top 50 prospect on Scout and the second-highest rated prospect in that class, trailing only Alizé Mack.
Coincidentally, Hoge was ranked No. 48 overall on Scout during his cycle, just three spots ahead of linebacker Josh Barajas, who transferred to Illinois State this week. The junior class has lost four of its original 23 members. Receiver Jalen Guyton and safety Mykelti Williams departed after their first semesters.