Ragone reportedly Kansas-bound

Is it too early to label Lawrence, Kan., "South Bend West"?

Mike Ragone will be the next Notre Dame player to join former Irish coach Charlie Weis at Kansas, Eric Hansen reports in the South Bend Tribune.

The tight end tore the ACL in his right knee during Notre Dame's Week 2 loss at Michigan -- his third major knee injury since 2007, when he missed his senior year at Camden Catholic (N.J.) High School.

The NCAA granted Ragone a sixth year of eligibility, Hansen reports, but he was not invited back to Notre Dame for another year.

So he will join former Irish quarterback Dayne Crist in taking advantage of the NCAA's graduate-exception rule, allowing the two Notre Dame graduates to play immediately at their new school -- and, in this case, with the college coach who originally recruited them -- so long as they enroll in graduate programs not offered at Notre Dame.

“The (right) knee feels great now,” Ragone told Hansen. “I’ve been working out at home since after the bowl game (Dec. 29). I plan to go to Kansas this summer.

“It’s going to be great playing with Dayne again. He’s a great guy and a great quarterback. I asked for one more chance, and I got it.”