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Lynch leaving Notre Dame

Fighting Irish star defender is transferring. Dave Miller

Print This April 13, 2012, 10:05 AM EST

Aaron Lynch is transferring from Notre Dame.

Aaron LynchICONDE Aaron Lynch is leaving Notre Dame.

The defensive end, who was arguably the best defender on the Fighting Irish as a freshman last season, said he wants to be closer to home in Florida and will transfer to another school following the spring semester.

"This is one of the toughest decisions I've had to make but I want to go back to Florida," Lynch said.

Lynch, Notre Dame's best pass rusher since Justin Tuck, led the team in sacks last fall with 5.5. He was once committed to Florida State before flipping his commitment to ND.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly will speak to the media at 10 a.m. this morning and is expected to address the situation.

Losing Lynch's pass rush ability especially hurts because the Irish have to replace both starting cornerbacks. Kelly and defensive coordinator Bob Diaco will need to rely on getting pressure on the quarterback to help out a green secondary.

His departure also doesn't help the perception that the Irish are a rising program under Kelly. However, the team still returns skilled defenders such as defensive linemen Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix as well as star linebacker Manti Te'o.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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