The Fighting Irish are a man down. Highly touted defensive freshman recruit, Spencer Boyd, is bolting the Notre Dame Football team for the University of South Florida effective Thursday, July 15th completion of his summer semester.

Boyd based his decision on being closer to his family who reside in Florida and in particular his two-year-old-son Jaden. He told the Fort Meyers Press that he was having “family issues” and “there’s no hard feelings” (with the university). He did, however, add that: “[Notre Dame] had some expectations out of me in the fall but things came up.”

The 5-10 defensive back will have to sit out a year before he is eligible to compete for USF according to NCAA rules. Boyd, who's put on some weight in Notre Dame's strength and conditioning program, is looking forward to the opportunity to contribute on the offensive side of the ball as well for the University of South Florida and new head coach Skip Holz.

“They are looking at me as a wide receiver but not totally ruling out defense,” Boyd said. “I probably know more about corner because I learned from people in a college program in the spring. But I don't mind having the ball in my hands.”

The team is down but not out. The Fighting Irish still have a sound defensive secondary led by starting seniors Darrin Walls and Gary Gray at cornerback. Junior Robert Blanton and E.J. Banks are in the mix for third and fourth defensive options at the position. Norte Dame has high expectations for another freshman recruit, Lo Wood, who by all accounts is developing into another weapon for defensive coach Bob Diaco’s secondary.