Notre Dame defensive lineman Jacob Lacey announced he will be leaving the program with the intention to enter the transfer portal at the end of the season.

Lacey and coach Marcus Freeman both acknowledged his departure on Thursday afternoon. Freeman was complimentary of the work that Lacey did over his 4 years in South Bend.

“Lacey was a great player,” Freeman told reporters, via NDInsider. “Lacey did a lot of great things for us, but it’s a deep position. He made a decision that ultimately he felt was best for him and we respect it. We love Jacob.”

Lacey picked up 2 sacks in Notre Dame’s win over Cal back in September, but his playing time dwindled against North Carolina the following week.

By leaving now with only 4 games played this season, Lacey will have 2 years of eligibility at his next program. He’s able to take a redshirt this season and his 2020 campaign does not count against his eligibility because of the pandemic.

As for Notre Dame’s defensive line depth, the Fighting Irish are in good shape. Senior Chris Smith and sophomore Gabriel Rubio are two players that Freeman named as good options.

Notre Dame faces BYU in Las Vegas this weekend.