Fighting Irish off-season woes keep coming

Collingsworth will miss 2012 season
And the hits keep coming people!

The University of Notre Dame announced Wednesday that specials teams standout and defensive back Austin Collingsworth will miss between 4 to 6 months due after undergoing shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Collingsworth, son of former Cincinnati Bengal wide receiver and current NBC play by play analyst Chris Collingsworth, sustained the injury at the annual Blue and Gold game last month and is expected to miss the 2012 season.

Collingsworth's injury further depletes a Notre Dame secondary that is deemed by many experts as the weakness on the entire football team. The Fighting Irish are extremely thin after losing first round pick Harrison Smith, fifth round pick Robert Blanton and undrafted free agent Gary Gray to the NFL.

Collingsworth's injury may not send shockwaves around the NCAA, but when you consider that his replacement, most likely Chris Badger, has zero playing time. Couple that with the fact that Notre Dame faces perhaps the top three QB's in the nation next season in Matt Barkley (USC), Landry Jones (OU) and Denard Robinson (UM).

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Collingsworth's injury is the latest in an off-season of woes that Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish have had to have dealt with. Highly touted recruited DB Tee Shepherd left the University earlier in the year due to what his father described as "medical" reasons. However, I have been speaking with a very reliable inside source that Tee's decision was based largely on the academic expectations, to which he struggled with.

More woes in April last, Notre Dame freshman All-American DE Aaron Lynch decided to quit the University to move closer to his childhood sweetheart in Florida. He has enrolled in the University of South Florida.

And who could forget last month's epic saga provided by 2011 starting QB Tommy Rees and linebacker Carlo Calabrese, after both got into trouble with the law after a house party in South Bend which led to Calabrese being charged with intimidation and Rees charged with assault of a law enforcement officer.

There is some good news from this woeful off-season for the Notre Dame faithful:

One of the nations top prospects in the country, Jaylon Smith, has committed to the Fighting Irish. Rivals.com ranks Smith as the 4th overall recruit in the country and the #1 outside linebacker.

The Fighting Irish also took a huge DE in Isacc Rochell from under the noses of the Georgia Bulldogs. Rivals.com ranks Rochell as the #8 strong side defensive end and #88 overall prospect giving Notre Dame three recruits in Rivals’ top 100.

Record breaking WR, Michael Floyd, has signed a lucrative four year deal with the Arizona Cardinals, which will guarantee him $10 million and an option of a fifth season.

Last but not least, head coach Brian Kelly is said to be recovering well from surgery on a nagging chronic lower back pain caused by a herniated disc, which bothered him for the most part of the 2011 season.

Jason writes for IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find him on twitter at @jayomahony

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