Skip to content

Forde takes a look at life on campus

Dec 11, 2012, 2:00 PM EST

SorinSeptember03

When you comparing dorm life at Notre Dame to other perennial football powers, a cinder block room on north quad probably doesn’t look too appealing for potential student-athletes. And while schools like Oklahoma erect $75 million living quarters that feel more like penthouses than college dorms, there’s a certain charm to campus life at Notre Dame, where students and athletes live together.

Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde spent a little time on campus last week for a story on dorm life, trailing Irish football players KeiVarae Russell, Romeo Okwara, and Matthias Farley. The entire story is worth a read, but there are some wonderful tidbits worth sharing here.

On KeiVarae Russell finding his place in Sorin Hall.

KeiVarae is a freshman starter from Seattle. They’re two of several players living in Sorin, intermingled with the general student population.

KeiVarae’s roommates are from Brazil, Michigan and North Carolina. None plays football.

“I’ve really enjoyed that,” KeiVarae said. “A lot of schools I visited, the players were isolated from the rest of the students. This makes you fit in.

“Football players, I know how we got here. I didn’t know how my roommate got here from Brazil, or how guys got here from Michigan or North Carolina. I’ve learned a lot.”

Last Thursday, KeiVarae walked a visitor through Sorin introducing him to a wide cross-section of students: the studious kid who is always in the dorm’s basement kitchen on his laptop; the preppy kid who dresses like a male model; the kid who plays saxophone in the marching band; the kid from Mississippi on his way out to buy a gift for the dorm’s Secret Santa freshman present exchange.

Russell lives in Sorin with walk-on defensive lineman Grant Patton as well, along with story-stealer Alvin Hu, a computer science and engineering major with Asperger Syndrome, who is enjoying this title run.

Here’s Romeo Okwara on the challenges that come with jumping from high school to Notre Dame, especially for a (ridiculously large) 17-year-old.

As a freshman, Romeo has a mandatory two-hour study hall Sunday through Wednesday. There are tutors and academic advisers assigned to the players to help them as needed. If they attain a certain grade-point average their first year, they don’t have to attend study hall.

“In high school I felt like I could breeze through,” says Romeo, who is from Charlotte and hopes to major in accounting or finance. “Here, you have to do a lot of studying on your own, outside of class.”

Finally, Forde catches up with safety Matthias Farley, who is on the inside track for being the team’s true Renaissance Man.

Even with math out of the way, Matthias’ days are full. He’s taking 15 credit hours this semester, which means many of his weekdays go like this: weightlifting from 8-9 a.m., class from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., meetings at 2:15 p.m. and then practice. After dinner at the training table, it’s time to study for a few hours.

“If you manage your time, you have enough hours in the day,” he says. “I learned last year that I can do it – I can manage the academic load, the social aspect and football, and still be fine and sane.”

This year he lives in Dillon hall with two teammates, but that’s not who he spends all his time with. The night before his last Satire class, Matthias was playing soccer video games with a bunch of non-football friends.

“I feel like living in a football dorm would really limit you socially,” he says.

When the Irish are a five-loss team, stories like this from student-athletes can be used to explain why Notre Dame might never make it back to the top of college football’s mountain. But when the team is 12-0 and playing a program like Nick Saban’s Alabama team — run more like an NFL squad than anything collegiate — well, it feels a little bit like Nuke Laloosh’s shower shoes.

Latest Posts
  1. Notre Dame lands Indianapolis safety Mykelti Williams

    Dec 19, 2014, 11:59 AM EST

    Property of Indianapolis Star Property of Indianapolis Star

    Notre Dame solidified its safety depth chart by going for a homegrown solution. The Irish offered Indianapolis Warren Central safety Mykelti Williams yesterday, and today the four-star prospect made the decision official by committing to Notre Dame.

  2. And in that corner… The LSU Tigers

    Dec 19, 2014, 11:27 AM EST

    Les Miles Les Miles

    Notre Dame’s inclusion in the ACC’s bowl selections came in handy this year. As the Irish back-slid throughout November, they still held onto some preferred real estate, finding themselves in a pretty nice consolation game, with the opportunity to play in Nashville in the Music City Bowl.

    Carter Bryant gets us ready for LSU.

  3. Smith, Fuller nab All-American mentions

    Dec 18, 2014, 2:38 PM EST

    Jaylon Smith Jaylon Smith

    Sophomores Jaylon Smith and Will Fuller have earned more kudos than just their defensive and offensive player of the year Echoes. Both have received mention for year-end All-American awards.

  4. Bowl prep helps both present and future along offensive line

    Dec 18, 2014, 1:17 PM EST

    Purdue v Notre Dame Purdue v Notre Dame

    While most eyes are focused on the battle at quarterback between Everett Golson and Malik Zaire, the preparations for LSU will also be critical along the offensive line. The extra practices will give Brian Kelly and Harry Hiestand time to evaluate their starting five, with changes that could have both short and long-term impacts.

  5. Mailbag: Now Open

    Dec 17, 2014, 4:24 PM EST

    New Mailbox

    Any new questions? Ones that I’ve avoided? Last minute Christmas ideas? Drop them in the comments below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.

  6. ‘Blind Faith’ gives first time fan the Notre Dame experience

    Dec 17, 2014, 12:29 PM EST

    Stanford v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Monday UND.com premiered the short film “Blind Faith.” Directed by Notre Dame graduate Greg Kohs, the documentary follows a blind eighth grade boy making his first visit to Notre Dame Stadium.

  7. Golson and Zaire will share time against LSU

    Dec 16, 2014, 11:40 AM EST

    Rice v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Brian Kelly will play two quarterbacks against LSU, with both senior Everett Golson and sophomore Malik Zaire getting an opportunity to take on the LSU in the Music City Bowl. After a regular season where Golson served as the starter all 12 games with Zaire only seeing significant action against USC in the finale, both will be utilized in the Irish’s offensive game plan.

  8. Stanley still undecided on NFL future

    Dec 15, 2014, 4:52 PM EST

    Notre Dame v Syracuse Notre Dame v Syracuse

    Notre Dame junior offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley walked off the stage Friday night with the team’s Lineman of the Year Award. He’s still uncertain if it’s the last time he’ll take part in the season-ending festivities.

  9. Counting down the Irish: Looking back

    Dec 15, 2014, 3:37 PM EST

    Will Fuller, Nick VanHoose Will Fuller, Nick VanHoose

    This August, a group of people who spend way too much time watching and writing about Notre Dame football got together to put together some preseason rankings on the roster. In doing so, we (I’m definitely included) put in writing what so many of you (especially in the comments) already thought was true: We don’t know what we’re talking about sometimes.

  10. Schmidt wins MVP as Notre Dame hands out year-end awards

    Dec 13, 2014, 12:11 PM EST

    Joe Schmidt Joe Schmidt

    Middle linebacker Joe Schmidt was named the 2014 team’s MVP on Saturday night, honored by his teammates with the top award at Notre Dame’s year-end awards show. Hosted by NBC’s Mike Mayock and WNBA star Skylar Diggins, “The Echoes” withstood a building-clearing plumbing issue to hand out 16 awards.

  11. With banquet ahead, recruiting efforts in full swing

    Dec 12, 2014, 10:40 AM EST

    MyLVSports.com MyLVSports.com

    Notre Dame’s regular season may be over. The Irish’s recruiting class — one many thought would cap itself around 20 — is already at 21 commits. Get ready for a busy weekend on campus.

  12. Swarbrick in favor of compensating student-athletes through group licensing

    Dec 10, 2014, 9:49 PM EST

    Jack Swarbrick

    Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick finds himself in the news on another roller coaster day in college athletics. And while it isn’t about a coaching change (another job opening under Barry Alvarez!) or another critique of the College Football Playoff, Swarbrick found himself speaking openly — and rather candidly — about compensating student-athletes, and the perilous position college athletic departments now find themselves in.

  13. Mailbag: Now Open

    Dec 10, 2014, 12:59 PM EST

    New Mailbox

    Drop your questions below. Or on Twitter @KeithArnold.

  14. Ronnie Stanley has an NFL decision to make

    Dec 9, 2014, 12:24 PM EST

    Notre Dame v Syracuse Notre Dame v Syracuse

    Notre Dame’s season may have gone down the tube in November, but left tackle Ronnie Stanley’s stock has been sky-rocketing. The third-year junior (Stanley is a sophomore eligibility wise) is finishing up his first season as a left tackle and beginning to garner plenty of looks as a potential first-round draft pick.

  15. Quarterback battle will take center stage

    Dec 8, 2014, 3:51 PM EST

    Rice v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Throughout spring practice, summer workouts and fall camp, Brian Kelly did everything he could to make us believe a quarterback battle was taking place between Everett Golson and Malik Zaire.

    Twelve games and 22 turnovers later, the Irish finally have one.

  16. Irish wanted challenge? They’ll get one from LSU

    Dec 8, 2014, 12:27 AM EST

    Les Miles Les Miles

    Notre Dame got what it wanted. And if you thought Brian Kelly was looking for an easy matchup to become the first Irish head coach to win eight games or more in each of his first five seasons, think again.

  17. Notre Dame to face LSU in Music City Bowl

    Dec 7, 2014, 7:01 PM EST

    Tarean Folston, Daniel Gonzales, Obi Uzoma Tarean Folston, Daniel Gonzales, Obi Uzoma

    Notre Dame will be spending the holidays in Nashville. Sunday afternoon the Irish accepted their first ever bid to the Music City Bowl, where they’ll take on LSU. Les Miles’ football team finished the season 8-4.

  18. Postseason Mailbag: The ‘Moving Forward’ edition

    Dec 5, 2014, 5:16 PM EST

    Malik Zaire, J.R. Tavai Malik Zaire, J.R. Tavai

    Recruiting rankings, quarterback controversy, coaching changes and more.

    We’ll find out over the weekend where Notre Dame will go bowling. Until then, let’s dig into the mailbag.

  19. Corey Robinson named first-team Academic All-American

    Dec 4, 2014, 3:21 PM EST

    Notre Dame v Florida State Getty Images

    Notre Dame sophomore wide receiver Corey Robinson was named a first-team Academic All-American on Thursday. He is only the second Irish sophomore ever to be named first-team Academic All-American and the first sophomore since 2008 to be given the honor in the entire country.

  20. Irish won’t lack for bowl options

    Dec 4, 2014, 11:08 AM EST

    Brian Kelly AP

    Year one of Notre Dame’s football affiliation with the ACC may not have gone as hoped. (At least the second half of the season.) But a quick look at the Irish’s postseason options reminds us of the importance of Jack Swarbrick’s handy work, as a 7-5 Notre Dame team is still the belle of the ball.