NCAA denies Slaughter's sixth year

Jamoris Slaughter’s bid for a sixth year of eligibility took a significant step in a bad direction for the Irish Tuesday. The NCAA denied his initial request for another year at Notre Dame, according to a source close to Slaughter.

Jamoris Slaughter missed the final 10 games on the season due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Slaughter ruptured his Achilles tendon in a game against Michigan State three weeks into the regular season and missed the remainder of the year. He also redshirted as a freshman in 2008. Notre Dame petitioned the NCAA on the grounds that his first year on the sideline was also due to injury. Notre Dame now has the option to appeal, but did not comment on its plans to do so or confirm that the initial request was indeed denied.

The Georgia native said he was optimistic about his chances to play in a Notre Dame uniform again during an interview at Sun Life Stadium two days before the BCS National Championship game. His only frustration at the time was the slow recovery process.

“It’s been three months but it feels like a year,” he said. “I’m feeling good about about it though.”

Slaughter made 98 tackles and two interceptions while playing in 39 games for the Irish. He emerged as a leader in the defensive backfield during his final two seasons with the team and helped to establish a hybrid outside linebacker/safety role in Notre Dame’s defensive package.

The rehab process for an Achilles tear takes at least six months. Slaughter did not think he would be healthy in time to audition for professional scouts at the NFL Combine or at Notre Dame’s scheduled Pro Day this spring.

A week ago, he planned to return to his home state, Georgia, and continue to work out if his request was denied. He hoped his ankle would be strong enough for a tryout at an NFL camp this summer. He said he talked to former teammate Jonas Gray, who went through a similar process after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his final home game in 2011.

“I talked to him about it,” Slaughter said in south Florida. “He’s been in my same shoes. You’ve got to have the same type of mentality that you’re playing and you’ve got to put that energy into what can make you better. For me right now that’s rehab.”

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