Amir Carlisle cleared to play for Irish

Notre Dame early enrollee Tee Shepard has returned home to Fresno, Calif., while USC transfer Amir Carlisle had his waiver request approved by the NCAA, making the running back eligible to play in 2012, the school said Thursday.

"Tee is a special person and it's unfortunate it didn't work out here," coach Brian Kelly said of Shepard, a wide receiver, in a prepared statement.

"Everyone at Notre Dame wishes him all the best in the future."

Shepard (Fresno, Calif./Washington Union), a four-star recruit rated No. 90 in the ESPNU 150, is also the cousin of four-star wide receiver Deontay Greenberry, who attended the same high school as Shepard and was ranked No. 106 in the ESPNU 150. Greenberry had verbally committed to the Irish before signing with Houston, in one of the biggest surprises of national signing day.

Carlisle, from Santa Clara, Calif., rushed for 118 yards on 19 carries and caught seven passes for 41 yards and a touchdown during his freshman season with the Trojans this past fall. He transferred to Notre Dame in January, starting his second semester of college.

"I love being here at Notre Dame and can't wait to run out of the tunnel this September wearing my gold helmet," Carlisle said.

His father, Duane, is the director of sports performance at nearby Purdue.

The Irish will also announce that their Sept. 22 game against Michigan will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Notre Dame's home game against USC last season was the school's first night game in 21 years and just the eighth in school history.

Michigan hosted Notre Dame last season in what was the Wolverines' first home night game, a 35-31 win played before a college football-record 114,804 fans.