Defensive end Aaron Lynch will leave Notre Dame after the spring semester, the school announced Friday.
"Aaron recently approached me about his desire to leave Notre Dame and return to Florida," coach Brian Kelly said in a news release. "I've always known and appreciated the affinity Aaron has for his home in Florida. However, the stark reality is you can't make it at Notre Dame if your head and heart are not here. I am proud of the effort Aaron made in the classroom and on the field at Notre Dame. I wish him all the best in the future."
Lynch earned freshman All-American honors last season as he led the Irish in sacks with 5 1/2. The 6-foot-6-, 270-pound Cape Coral, Fla., native played in 12 games and recorded 33 tackles, including seven for loss.
"I want to thank Coach Kelly for giving me this great opportunity to attend Notre Dame and be part of the Fighting Irish football family," Lynch said. "This was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make, but I want to go back home to Florida. I'm grateful to Coach Kelly for understanding and allowing me to return home."
Lynch's future at Notre Dame was in doubt last Wednesday, when he was excused from practice for what Kelly said were "personal reasons." Lynch returned to practice Monday after visiting his mother, who lives in Ohio.