During Wednesday’s afternoon practice, 17-year-old Brian Novak, a 145-pound walk-on for the struggling Notre Dame football team, injured nine starters, including third-year quarterback Jimmy Clausen, junior wide receiver Golden Tate, and 295-pound defensive lineman Ian Williams.
Novak, who had virtually no organized football experience prior to joining the Division I team, has injured a total of 24 players since his arrival in South Bend, prompting many to question whether or not the Fighting Irish have another disappointing season in store.
“I’m not really that fast or strong or anything,” said Novak, adding that of his friends back home he’s “not even close” to being the best football player. “But during my first practice with the team I was playing linebacker–or it might have been defensive end–and I got past the big blocker guys no problem, then somehow broke [starting halfback] Armando Allen’s leg with a tackle. That’s the first tackle I’ve ever attempted in my life.”
“I’m not trying to hurt them or anything, but in general I would say everyone here is a lot slower and weaker than I thought they’d be,” Novak added. “I can only bench-press about 90 pounds, but all the players gather around to watch me lift.”
According to members of the coaching staff, the former high school yearbook editor is by far the team’s most athletic player, despite Novak’s inability to do more than two pull-ups or jog a mile without walking. During an intrasquad scrimmage last Sunday, he recorded eight interceptions, rushed for 225 yards, and ruptured the Achilles tendon of safety Sergio Brown with what appeared to be a fairly slow-moving, awkward juke move.
Leave it to The Onion to ruin the Irish’s season before it even gets starter. My favorite quote of the column:
“Until Brian, I never thought about how establishing the run could create opportunities for us downfield,” said Weis, who has led the Irish to 15 losses in their last two seasons. “Novak was telling me about something called a ‘fake handoff,’ which is like this fake run thing, but then you pass it. I would assume that’s illegal, but he’s proven himself to be an amazing football player, so I trust him.”
(H/T: Her Loyal Sons)