After having Tyler Eifert, Manti Te'o, Michael Floyd and Harrison Smith return for their senior seasons, Brian Kelly caught the flip side of the coin this year. Following some of Notre Dame's best players sticking around in South Bend to earn their degrees and playing out four seasons, the Irish head coach is facing one of the biggest talent purges he's ever seen after a disappointing 9-4 season.
The Irish will have to make due without some players who were looked at as keys for 2014. And while you can forgive a guy like Louis Nix for not playing out his eligibility, the Irish staff lost big on players like Stephon Tuitt and Troy Niklas, three-year standouts who left a degree on the table while they chased down NFL gold.
At a school where earning a college degree is a key part of a prospect's recruitment, losing players early to the NFL draft is a relatively new phenomenon for the Irish. Let's take a look at the draft prospects that are departing Notre Dame.