SOUTH BEND – Defensive end Aaron Lynch’s absence from Notre Dame’s practice Wednesday led to plenty of angst.
Coach Brian Kelly tried to defuse any concerns about the sophomore-to-be’s status with the team when he met with the media after practice.
We excused him from practice today. He needed some time to straighten out some personal matters at home, Kelly said.
There were rumors that he quit or transferred or went pro. That’s not true.
The Cape Coral, Fla., native was reported to be returning to his native state.
But Lynch appears to have gone to Ohio, where his family now lives.
His mother, Alice, posted on Twitter:
Aaron is at home with me and isn’t in no Florida. Stop the rumors!!!!!!!
Lynch is coming off a strong freshman season in which he led the team with 5 1/2 sacks and had 33 tackles, starting six of the 12 games he played in.
The 6-foot-6, 270-pound end was involved in an altercation with offensive lineman Tate Nichols during practice Saturday, the Chicago Tribune and Irish Illustrated reported, citing anonymous sources.
That incident doesn’t appear to be connected with Lynch’s absence, and it doesn’t appear to threaten his future with Notre Dame.
He’s coming back Monday night, Kelly said of Lynch.
Starting linebacker has sprained knee
Linebacker Dan Fox did not practice Wednesday after hurting his knee.
The senior-to-be suffered a sprained posterior cruciate ligament, but Kelly said the injury is not severe.
No surgery, Kelly said. Very little swelling, just a little sore.
Fox had 48 tackles as one of the starting inside linebackers last season.
Player from D.C. makes commitment
Devin Butler, a cornerback from Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C., has announced that he has orally committed to Notre Dame.
The three-star prospect, according to Rivals.com, posted on his Twitter account: I’M COMMITTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME!!!! #GOIRISH.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder is rated the 24th-best player at his position.
Butler is the 10th player to commit to Notre Dame.
He is the second defensive back to join the 2013 class, joining cornerback Rashad Kinlaw of Galloway, N.J.