Top Oregon State and Notre Dame Players Not Playing in Sun Bowl

    The Oregon State Beavers are set to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Sun Bowl. Who are the top players they will be without?

    In a battle of two top-25 teams, the 21st-ranked Oregon State Beavers will take on the 15th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Friday in the Sun Bowl. Both teams finished the regular season with eight or more wins and look to close the season on a high note.

    Unfortunately for each team, they have already seen a slew of players opting out of the game either to declare for the NFL Draft or enter the transfer portal.

    Who Is Not Playing in the Sun Bowl?

    For Oregon State, nine players will be out of the game due to entering the transfer portal. On the other side, 13 players for Notre Dame opted out, leaving each team with new players entering the starting lineup.

    Audric Estime, RB Notre Dame

    One of the nation’s best running backs won’t be playing in the game for Notre Dame. Junior running back Audric Estime was 11th in the country in rushing yards with 1,341 and tied for third in rushing touchdowns with 18.

    Going in as one of the top-ranked running back prospects in the NFL Draft, Estime declared for the NFL Draft, so his focus shifted to his professional football future.

    Joe Alt, OT Notre Dame

    Joe Alt has proven to be one of the best left tackles in the county this season. Alt was named as unanimous All-American after being a First Team All-American last season and starting every game for the past two seasons at left tackle.

    He declared for the NFL Draft and is projected to be a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

    Sam Hartman, QB Notre Dame

    After a successful career with Wake Forest, Sam Hartman joined Notre Dame this season as their starting quarterback. Hartman threw for 2,689 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions, adding three rushing scores.

    MORE: 2024 Transfer Portal Team Rankings

    He decided to opt out of the game as he began his preparation for the NFL Draft — this is his last season of eligibility. After some late-season struggles, Hartman might be looking at a late-Day 3 draft pick.

    Marist Liufau, LB Notre Dame

    Marist Liufau has been a starter for Notre Dame for the last two seasons as he fought through a career-threatening leg injury in 2021 to play a role on the defense. Liufau finished the season racking up 44 tackles, three sacks, one pass deflection, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

    He opted out of the game to declare for the NFL Draft. Liufau accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl after the season.

    Cam Hart, CB Notre Dame

    While the stats may not show it, cornerback Cam Hart was one of the best shutdown corners in the country in 2023. Hart only allowed 15 completions during the season, and Pro Football Focus gave him an 84.2 grade on the ear.

    He will not play in the Sun Bowl as Hart declared for the NFL Draft — he could be looking at a high-to-mid-round draft projection.

    DJ Uiagalelei, QB Oregon State

    Oregon State will also be without their starting quarterback for the game as DJ Uiagalelei is out. Uiagalelei finished the season with 2,638 yards and 21 touchdowns to seven interceptions, adding six rushing touchdowns.

    With coaching changes and the team no longer a part of the Pac-12, Uiagalelei joined the transfer portal for the second straight year.

    Atticus Sappington, K Oregon State

    The Beavers will be without their starting kicker, Atticus Sappington, after a stellar 2023 campaign. Sappington converted 13 of 14 field goals and made 49 of 50 extra points.

    Oregon State will not have Sappington as he has entered the transfer portal, too. He will stay in the state, committing to the Oregon Ducks.

    Akili Arnold, S Oregon State

    Akili Arnold was all over the field for the Beavers this season, working in pass coverage and run support. Arnold finished second on the team in tackles with 62, adding 0.5 sacks, six pass deflections, two interceptions, and one fumble recovery.

    MORE: 2023 CFB Bowl Game Opt-Out Tracker

    He has opted out of the game because he has entered the transfer portal. Arnold committed to the USC Trojans for next year.

    Jack Velling, TE Oregon State

    Jack Velling came into bowl season as Oregon State’s third-leading receiver. He racked up 438 receiving yards and a team-high eight touchdowns.

    Velling has also entered the transfer portal, opting out of the bowl game. He committed to play next season for Michigan State.

    Easton Mascarenas-Arnold, LB Oregon State

    Easton Mascarenas led the team in tackles this season, with 106. He added two sacks and two interceptions during the season.

    Mascarenas entered the transfer portal, joining his brother Akili at USC in 2024.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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