Nov 21, 2013, 6:36 PM EST
After missing games against Air Force and Navy to rehabilitate an injured meniscus, Louis Nix returned to the field to play against Pitt. In the Irish’s 28-21 loss, Nix battled through double teams and a sore knee to notch five tackles, a game that’ll likely be his last at Notre Dame.
After practice Thursday evening, Brian Kelly announced that Nix underwent surgery to repair the same torn meniscus, ending Nix’s season and potentially his collegiate career. Nix hasn’t formally decided what to do next season, but did take 19 credit hours this semester (a full load is considered 15 hours), so he could officially graduate at the semester break.
If this is the end for Nix, he’ll be remembered as one of the most dominant defensive players of the post-Holtz era, likely going in the first round of the NFL Draft, rarefied air for a front seven player at Notre Dame.
A unique fit at Notre Dame from Jacksonville’s Raines High School, Nix committed to the Irish between head coaches, stuck with it in South Bend through home sickness and ups and downs, and became one of the team’s most beloved players, thanks to his ever-present smile and sparkling personality, showcased on his Twitter account.
Nix will still fulfill his goal of celebrating Senior Day with his mother. According to Kelly, Nix and his mom will walk to midfield together on Saturday.