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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame linebacker Danny Spond's football career is over.
Spond, a starter for the Fighting Irish at outside linebacker linebacker last season, announced the news to the team Saturday, coach Brian Kelly said. Kelly said Spond had a medical issue and that his family would announce further specifics later.
"It was an emotional decision," Kelly said of Spond. "It didn't come without a lot of thought. He spent the day speaking to a lot of specialists and his family was here, so this was not a decision that came easy."
"He loves his teammates, but I think what's most important is he did what was in his best interest for his future," Kelly added. "He's got a bright future. And his immediate [future] is he wants to be with the team, and our teammates were excited to hear he'll be with us every day. He'll travel with us. He'll help coach."
Redshirt sophomore Ben Councell and five-star freshman Jaylon Smith will compete for the vacant starting spot.
Spond started 11 games last year for the 12-1 Notre Dame, notching 39 total tackles, including one for a loss, to go with an interception, three break-ups and four passes defended.
Spond was at practice Saturday walking with a limp and using a cane. The 6-foot-2, 248-pound senior missed Notre Dame's first two games last season after the left side of his body went numb during a preseason practice in August.
Specialists at the University of Michigan later determined Spond was suffering from a severe migraine with symptoms that could be controlled by medication.
Kelly also said that redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Tony Springmann will undergo an MRI on his left knee and miss at least the Aug. 31 opener against Temple. Freshman linebacker Doug Randolph will miss the season because of a shoulder issue.
Redshirt freshman running back William Mahone has a high ankle sprain that Kelly said could sideline him for roughly two weeks.