Former A-State kicker transfers to Notre Dame

Placekicker Blake Grupe (0) is transferring from Arkansas State to Notre Dame for his final season of eligibility.

JONESBORO — Blake Grupe is planning to finish his college football career at Notre Dame.

Grupe, a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference kicker at Arkansas State, announced his decision to join the Fighting Irish on social media Thursday. A graduate transfer, Grupe revealed his decision to enter the transfer portal on Monday.

“New Colors, Same Mission,” Grupe posted Thursday in announcing his commitment to spend his final season of eligibility at Notre Dame.

Grupe came to Arkansas State from Sedalia, Mo., as a non-scholarship player and leaves as the program’s all-time scoring leader. He eclipsed Richie Woit’s school record of 342 points that had stood since 1953 in the next-to-last game of the 2021 season.

In four seasons, Grupe made 64 of 86 field goal attempts (.744). He earned first-team All-Sun Belt honors and was a Lou Groza Award semifinalist in 2019, when he made 19 of 22 field goal attempts, and was second-team All-Sun Belt in 2021 when he converted 20 of 25 attempts.

Grupe holds ASU career records for scoring (354 points), extra points (162), points by kicking and field goals, among others.

In a social media message Monday, Grupe thanked coaches, teammates and fans at ASU for their help and support.

“I can truly say that I am a Red Wolf for life and Jonesboro will always have a special place in my heart,” Grupe wrote. “I am excited for the future, but also extremely thankful for my time here at Arkansas State University.”

A four-time Sun Belt Special Teams Player of the Week, Grupe scored 91 points in 2021 at ASU, including a career-long 50-yard field goal against Tulsa. He kicked a 42-yard field goal with 1:17 remaining in the game to lift the Red Wolves to a 27-24 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.

Other players who have left ASU via the transfer portal since the end of the 2021 season include quarterback Layne Hatcher (Texas State) and defensive backs Jarius Reimonenq (James Madison), Anthony Switzer (Utah State) and Antonio Fletcher (Southern Illinois).

Running back Marcel Murray, the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year in 2018, announced in December that he was removing his name from the transfer portal. ASU’s early signing class that was announced in December included four Football Bowl Subdivision transfers in defensive end Blayne Toll (Colorado/Arkansas), athlete Ja’Quez Cross (Purdue), defensive back Eddie Smith (Illinois/Alabama) and defensive lineman Terion Sugick (Vanderbilt).