Te’von Coney, Jerry Tillery return to Notre Dame for senior seasons
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, January 17, 2018
In an offseason that has already seen defensive coordinator Mike Elko, offensive line coach Harry Hiestand and juniors running back Josh Adams and wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, announce plans to leave South Bend, Notre Dame received some good news yesterday as juniors linebacker Te’von Coney and defensive lineman Jerry Tillery announced they will both return to school for their senior seasons.
“We talk about the mission everyday: graduate our players and win a national championship,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly tweeted Monday night. “While I’m excited to have Jerry and Te’von return from a football standpoint, I’m proud that they both believe in this mission and value the significance of the ND degree.”
Coney led the Irish last year with 112 tackles and Tillery was sixth on the team in that category with 56.
Tillery lead the team in sacks with 4.5, while Coney also led the team in tackles for a loss with 13.
“After much prayer, thought and discussion with my family and loved ones, I knew in my heart that this was the best decision for me,” Coney said in an Instagram post Monday evening. “I have a lot of unfinished business at Notre Dame — completing my degree and winning a national championship.”
Kelly also tweeted Tuesday that senior defensive lineman Jonathan Bonner would be returning for a fifth year.
“Jonathan’s an awesome kid,” Kelly said in the tweet. “He could’ve moved on with his degree from ND, but he decided to return to further his education and help us work toward a national championship. Jonathan’s made great strides on the field and I’m excited to see him rewarded for those efforts.”
Bonner started all 13 games in his senior season, recording 30 tackles, two sacks and four quarterback hurries.
Since Notre Dame’s 21-17 victory over LSU in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, five players have decided to transfer from Notre Dame.
Senior quarterback and holder Montgomery VanGorder announced via Twitter that he intends to transfer to Youngstown State for his fifth and final year of eligibility.
First reported by Irish Illustrated, junior wide receiver C.J. Sanders will transfer out of South Bend after three seasons as Notre Dame’s kick returner. Sanders will graduate early and will thus be immediately eligible to play wherever he enrolls.
Senior defensive lineman Peter Mokwuah announced via Twitter that he will transfer for his fifth and final season of eligibility. Mokwuah appeared in six games in his career with the Irish recording one tackle.
“Love my team and Love Thee Notre Dame forever,” Mokwuah’s post read. “I’m thankful for the opportunity that Notre Dame has given me. With that being said, I look forward to attending another school for my 5th year option. Go Irish!!”
Florida native and freshman defensive lineman Jonathon MacCollister posted on Twitter that he will transfer back to his home state and switch positions to play tight end for UCF. MacCollister did not play in his freshman year at Notre Dame.
Most recently, junior defensive lineman Elijah Taylor intends to transfer from Notre Dame the South Bend Tribune reported. Taylor played in just three games in his three years with the team.