Skip to content

Forde takes a look at life on campus

Dec 11, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

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. Five things we learned: Notre Dame 48, Rice 17

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:48 PM EDT

    Rice v Notre Dame Rice v Notre Dame

    The last stormy, humid season opener at Notre Dame Stadium found an infamous place in the Irish record books. Saturday afternoon’s 48-17 drubbing of Rice will be remembered in a much better light.

  2. Live Blog — Notre Dame vs. Rice

    Aug 30, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Cam McDaniel Cam McDaniel

    The live blog is back for another season of Notre Dame football. While most of your favorite writers are watching the game and taking notes, I’m here chatting it up with a few thousand of my closest friends. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

  3. NDonNBC previews the season

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT

    Oklahoma v Notre Dame Oklahoma v Notre Dame

    Before we get to the action on the field, the NDonNBC crew spent some time on campus and produced a few cool features to help kickoff the season.

  4. Watch Notre Dame vs. Rice anywhere

    Aug 30, 2014, 12:43 AM EDT

    NBC_Sports_Logo

    Consider this a public service announcement for all of those unable to get in front of a TV this afternoon. If you’re stuck at work or on the road over Labor Day weekend, we’ve got you covered to watch the game.

  5. Irish A-to-Z: Malik Zaire

    Aug 29, 2014, 5:46 PM EDT

    Malik Zaire

    Putting up a better fight for the starting quarterback job than anyone expected, sophomore Malik Zaire reminded many Irish fans that he’s more than just an afterthought in the program. Irish A-to-Z concludes with a look at Notre Dame’s backup quarterback.

  6. Irish A-to-Z: Jhonny Williams

    Aug 29, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

    Jhonny Williams Signing Day

    Arriving late on the scene during the recruiting cycle, Notre Dame looks like they found a good one in freshman Jhonny Williams. Irish A-to-Z takes a look at the local defensive end, who shows early promise as a pass rusher.

  7. Mailbag: Opening Weekend

    Aug 29, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT

    Brian Kelly Brian Kelly

    Happy Labor Day weekend, everybody. Here’s hoping you’re spending the holiday with friends, family… and some long-awaited college football. Before we get to the game tomorrow, let’s clean out our first regular season mailbag.

  8. Pregame Six Pack: At long last, the season begins

    Aug 29, 2014, 12:34 AM EDT

    Brian Kelly Brian Kelly

    That took long enough, didn’t it? After far too long, football is back. With a preseason camp that the Irish survived mostly healthy, the biggest hits came off the field. As an academic investigation claimed its fifth player Thursday, let’s run through the Pregame Six Pack to get you ready for Saturday’s kickoff.

  9. Irish A-to-Z: Ishaq Williams

    Aug 28, 2014, 7:42 PM EDT

    USC v Notre Dame Getty Images

    The look of Notre Dame’s defensive line changed drastically when senior Ishaq Williams was suspended indefinitely for his role in the academic dishonesty case now pending at the university level. Irish A-to-Z takes a closer look at the one-time five-star recruit.

  10. Academic investigation removes Eilar Hardy from practice

    Aug 28, 2014, 5:46 PM EDT

    USA TODAY Sports USA TODAY Sports

    It appears that Notre Dame’s internal investigation surrounding academic dishonesty charges is nearing a close. But before it gets there, one additional player will be held out of practice and from competition this Saturday.

  11. Meet Kathryn Tappen: NDonNBC’s new sideline reporter

    Aug 28, 2014, 3:55 PM EDT

    kathryn-tappen

    Busy prepping for her debut as NBC’s sideline reporter for Notre Dame football, NBC Sports Group’s Kathryn Tappen was nice enough to catch up with me before the season begins.

  12. Irish A-to-Z: Nic Weishar

    Aug 28, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

    Nic Weishar

    With Notre Dame on a roll at tight end, freshman Nic Weishar enters “Tight End U” trying to make a name for himself. Irish A-to-Z looks at the Chicagoland tight end.

  13. Irish A-to-Z: Nick Watkins

    Aug 28, 2014, 12:34 PM EDT

    Nick Watkins

    As most hard-core recruiting fans notice Brian VanGorder’s willingness to break the mold when it comes to recruiting, freshman cornerback Nick Watkins looks the part of a perfect prototype. Irish A-to-Z continues with a look at the newest blue-chipper in the secondary.

  14. Kelly: Resolution on academic suspensions coming soon

    Aug 28, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

    DaVaris Daniels, Ricardo Allen AP

    Brian Kelly appeared on the Dan Patrick show this morning and shed some light on the academic investigation that’s holding out DaVaris Daniels, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams.

  15. Irish A-to-Z: Justin Utupo

    Aug 27, 2014, 8:10 PM EDT

    Utupo AP

    Entering his fifth year in Notre Dame’s football program, grad student Justin Utupo is still looking to find a role in the Irish defense. Irish A-to-Z continues with the reserve defensive lineman.

  16. Irish A-to-Z: John Turner

    Aug 27, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT

    John Turner

    After being buried on the safety depth chart, junior John Turner became one of the talks of spring practice when he moved from forgotten man to a potential starter at outside linebacker. Irish A-to-Z looks at the unlikely outside linebacker.

  17. Opening Day Mailbag: Now Open

    Aug 27, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

    Mailbag

    The season is finally here. Got questions before the opener? Drop them in the comments or over on Twitter @KeithArnold.

  18. And in that corner… The Rice Owls

    Aug 27, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

    UTEP v Rice UTEP v Rice

    Notre Dame opens the 2014 season with a visit from Rice on Saturday afternoon. While on paper, a matchup with the Conference USA squad looks like it could be a good way to get the rust off, taking the Owls lightly would be a large mistake. The Houston Chronicle’s Joseph Duarte gets us ready for Rice.

  19. Kelly names Collinsworth, Day, Martin and McDaniel captains

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:38 PM EDT

    Temple v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Brian Kelly announced his captains for the 2014 season, naming safety Austin Collinsworth, defensive lineman Sheldon Day, center Nick Martin and running back Cam McDaniel his four leaders for the upcoming season.

  20. Irish A-to-Z: Andrew Trumbetti

    Aug 26, 2014, 5:32 PM EDT

    247Sports 247Sports

    After enrolling early this winter, Andrew Trumbetti has forced his way into the starting lineup. Irish A-to-Z looks at the freshman defensive end slated to start against Rice.