A former Notre Dame running back has apparently joined the Washington State football team and will be eligible to play this fall, cementing the Cougars’ depth at a position where it’s much-needed.
Deon McIntosh, who spent the 2017 football season with the Irish before being dismissed for a violation of team rules and played at East Mississippi Community College last year, has decided to spend his final two years of eligibility at WSU, Cougfan.com reported Sunday.
McIntosh arrives to Pullman as a blueshirt, according to Cougfan, which means he’s currently a walk-on but is still eligible to play immediately and can obtain a scholarship during fall camp.
The former Irish running back figures to be a major contributor this fall for the Cougars, who lost James Williams a year early to the NFL, graduated Keith Harrington and don’t have any proven commodities behind standout sophomore Max Borghi.
During his lone year in South Bend, McIntosh backed up Josh Adams, but was still effective with the carries he got. McIntosh, who redshirted in 2016, carried the ball 65 times for 368 yards – an average of 5.7 yards per carry – and scored five touchdowns for Notre Dame. His best effort came against North Carolina, when he carried the ball 12 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
McIntosh likely would’ve replaced Adams as the Irish’s starting tailback the following season, but coach Brian Kelly dismissed him from the program less than a month after he violated team rules while the team was in Orlando for the Citrus Bowl.
McIntosh went the junior college route, transferring to the popular East Mississippi Community College, which hosted the first two seasons of the Netflix original show “Last Chance U.”
He thrived in Scooba, Mississippi, rushing for 1,150 yards on 200 carries (5.8 ypc) while getting into the end zone 17 times on the ground. At 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, he had a long rush of 71 yards, averaged 95.8 yards per game and fumbled just three times in 12 games.
McIntosh will have to prove he can catch the ball as well as he can run between the tackles at WSU and though he wasn’t given many opportunities at Notre Dame, he did it more at EMCC, hauling in 19 passes on the season for 113 yards.
Hailing from the same Florida town as WSU wide receiver Calvin Jackson Jr. – Pompano Beach – McIntosh was a three-star prospect coming out of Cardinal Gibbons High School who had offers from a laundry list of Power Five schools, including Miami, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Penn State, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisville and WSU.
Borghi, who scored 12 touchdowns and totaled 740 all-purpose yards in 2018, was the only true running back on the Cougars’ roster during spring camp. Converted linebacker Cole Dubots and fullback Clay Markoff also got carries in the spring, though the Cougars probably would’ve needed either Jamir Thomas or Jouvensly Bazile – both incoming freshmen – to step into a secondary role behind Borghi this fall.