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Football

Ashton White and Daniel Cage to sit out 2017

| Thursday, July 20, 2017

Notre Dame’s 2017 defense suffered two blows in quick succession, as junior safety Ashton White chose to leave the team while senior defensive tackle Daniel Cage opted to take a medical redshirt year.

White, a three-star recruit from Washington D.C., was one of five players arrested in Fulton County in August 2016 after police found marijuana and an unlicensed firearm in a car with the group after stopping the car for speeding. White appeared in six games in 2016, making two tackles.

White announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he would be leaving the team, though he plans to remain enrolled at the University in order to complete his degree. White intends to transfer following the season, and will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2017 campaign.

“I would first like to thank Coach Kelly for the opportunity to play the game I love at such a wonderful institution such as Notre Dame,” White said via Twitter. “However, I will not be with the team this fall as I focus on some ambitious academic goals of mine.”

Irish senior defensive lineman Daniel Cage pursues Northwestern senior running back Justin Jackson during Notre Dame’s 43-40 loss to Northwestern at Notre Dame Stadium on Nov. 11, 2014.Observer File Photo

Irish senior defensive lineman Daniel Cage pursues Northwestern senior running back Justin Jackson during Notre Dame’s 43-40 loss to Northwestern at Notre Dame Stadium on Nov. 11, 2014.

With White leaving the team, Notre Dame’s depth at the safety position appears limited. With senior Drue Tranquill expected to appear at the “Rover” position for a significant portion of snaps, if not starting at the role, the only other remaining safeties are juniors Nick Coleman and Nicco Fertitta, sophomores Christopher Schilling, Jalen Elliott and Devin Studstill, and freshmen Isaiah Robertson and Jordan Genmark Heath.

Cage, on the other hand, will reportedly opt to leave the Irish for 2017 and take a medical redshirt year due to health concerns, particularly relating to concussions, according to Irish Illustrated. Cage’s mother, Bionne Cage, said the defensive tackle has suffered multiple headaches after suffering a concussion in November, according to the report.

In addition to the concussions, Cage suffered a knee injury that required surgery, though he was expected to make a recovery in time for training camp. Cage’s family said he intends to return to the team for 2018, assuming his recovery goes as planned.

Cage arrived at Notre Dame as a four-star prospect from Cincinnati and appeared in 30 games in his first three seasons at Notre Dame, making a total of 32 tackles. He recorded five tackles for loss, including four in the 2015 season.

Much like White, Cage’s departure exposes a lack of depth at his position for the Irish. Behind likely starters junior Jerry Tillery and senior Jonathan Bonner, the only other inside options on scholarship on the Irish defensive line are senior Peter Mokwuah and juniors Micah Dew-Treadway, Elijah Taylor and Brandon Tiassum.

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