There’s still football to be played, which makes any goodbye a little premature. But as it’s Senior Day tomorrow, this is as good of a time as any to tip a cap to the graduating class.
There’s been so much great work done to take a look at this class. So consider this just a nice aggregator of material, and a standing ovation for the work that the student-run Observer has done as they once again profiled every member of the senior class.
Do yourself a favor and read every one of these columns (I did). But if you’re running short on time, I’ve linked to each article they wrote, with a favorite factoid from all of them:
Carlo Calabrese: This quote says is all about Calabrese: “Three or four times, we kept [Stanford] out of the end zone, and then the last time, I made the tackle, Calabrese told the Observer. “I know I’ll remember that forever.”
Kevin Carr: Hailing from a long line of family members that served in the Navy, Carr hopes to join after graduation, specializing in nuclear engineering.
Austin Collinsworth: Austin’s following his father’s footsteps both on and off the field. He’s producing five-minute video shorts on life in the locker room with Fighting Irish Digital Media.
Will Cronin: The walk-on quarterback went from stud interhall QB for Alumni to invited walk-on for the Irish for his senior season. Not too shabby.
Nick Fitzpatrick: Younger brother of former kicker DJ, the local product also doubled as Denard Robinson, before winning Scout Team Player of the Year in 2012.
Dan Fox: After celebrating Senior Day with his mother last year with a flying shoulder bump, look for another epic celebration between the veteran linebacker and his mom.
Bruce Heggie: A cult hero if only for his out-of-nowhere recruiting status, Heggie switched back from offensive line to defensive line to help out as injuries mounted.
Andrew Hendrix: The first word of Hendrix’s senior profile is “Allotropes.” Because of course it is.
Bennett Jackson: You might forget, but Jackson averaged 22 yards a kick return during his freshman season, when he was still a wide receiver.
TJ Jones: A great piece of writing here by the Observer’s Mike Monaco. The loss of Jones’ father truly shaped him.
Christian Lombard: A season-ending injury has Lombard already looking to next season, where he’ll likely stay at guard with Steve Elmer first in line at left tackle.
Zack Martin: He’s been captaining football teams since middle school, and will likely continue after his college career is finished.
Arturo Martinez: After battling cancer, Martinez decided to walk-on to the Irish football team after just one season in high school.
Luke Massa: Position changes and ACL tears haven’t slowed Massa down, one of Brian Kelly’s first big scholarship offers.
Kendall Moore: Next Man In might be more than just a mantra. It might be what brings Kendall Moore back for a fifth year.
Louis Nix: Somehow Nix has shrunk since he arrived in South Bend. Literally.
Tyler Plantz: Grew up with a panoramic poster of Notre Dame Stadium in his bedroom.
Tommy Rees: So many words have been dedicated to Rees’ run here in South Bend. Here are a few more definitely worth reading.
Jude Rhodes: The little kicker with dreadlocks grew up in the highlands of Kenya.
Joe Romano: His grandfather, Buddy Romano, was a member of the 1949 national championship team.
Kona Schwenke: He may be one of the more underappreciated players in this class. But he could end up playing on Sundays, too.
Prince Shembo: For a guy that didn’t seem to have a position, he became a key cog on this football team.
Daniel Smith: Talk about the ultimate “glue” guy. A local product who made a career of doing the little things, fulfilling a dream come true by playing for Notre Dame.
Danny Spond: Injuries and early retirement won’t take away from what Spond brought to the program.
Tyler Stockton: Both Brian Kelly and Stockton were rewarded for bringing back the veteran leader this season.
Nick Tausch: While you wouldn’t probably remember it, Tausch’s name is all over the Irish kicking record books.
Justin Utupo: Better late than never for Utupo, who has feasted on opportunities that have opened up because of injuries.
Chris Watt: Seeing the Irish offensive line without Watt and Martin on the left side will be a very weird thing.
Alex Welch: Continued an impressive pipeline from Elder High School to Notre Dame. Don’t be surprised to see Welch back in an Irish uniform next year.
Lo Wood: An Achilles tear robbed Wood of a chance to start. But Wood hasn’t stopped grinding.
Alex Wulfeck: Wake Forest transfer has found his way onto the field as one of the true specialists on the roster.