Louis Nix, Steve Elmer

Big Lou looks back on Notre Dame

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Louis Nix appeared on the Jim Rome Show this morning and as you might have guessed, he didn’t disappoint.

In under 11 minutes, Nix and Rome touched on all the greatest hits, everything from his tough upbringing in Jacksonville, his decision to come to Notre Dame, the disappointment that came from an injury plagued senior season and his broad jumping skills at the NFL Combine.

While you need to be a Jungle Insider to hear the entire interview, here are a few snippets from Big Lou’s appearance.

On living the Irish Chocolate lifestyle:

“The Irish Chocolate lifestyle is just being yourself, being motivated,” Nix told Rome. “Being that guy that everybody loves. Try your best to be a humble, friendly, passionate guy. I try to be the guy that’s the mood for the room, that keeps a smile on everybody’s face. But when it’s time to get serious, I get serious.”

On going viral as he attempted to stick the landing in the broad jump. 

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“At first, I didn’t know it was happening,” Nix said of his broad jump performance. “I landed and I thought I was fine and then I started going backwards, and then I was like, ‘Wow, I’m falling… Timber.’

“I saw the video. I thought it was funny. I didn’t like the cameraman’s over-exaggeration of my fall. He started making the camera shake like I was an earthquake or something. I didn’t like that.”

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Nix also talked about the disappointment of finishing his career with an injury plagued senior season, one cut short by a knee injury that forced him to sit out Senior Day and end his season early.

“It got frustrating. I wanted to be one of those top defensive tackles. I wanted to be a consensus All-American. I wanted to win a Lombardi and Outland and those types of trophies,” Nix told Rome. “I had my goals set for the future and the seasons and that didn’t happen, but I had to stay motivated, I couldn’t just say I’ve got this injury and I’m done. I needed to get better and get back to where I wanted to be. I have new goals set for myself and I just want to be a better defensive tackle than I was yesterday.”

Of course, Nix joked about feeling and looking sexier than ever, courtesy of a svelte 325-pound frame that he’s now carrying around. Nix credited a lot of kale salads and eating gluten free, though he wasn’t exactly sure what that meant.

(Me neither.)

 

“I feel sexy. I feel great. It’s a process. You have to eat right. I want to feel better about myself and my body,” Nix said. “I feel like I’ve got a six-pack. It’s kinda covered by my protective stomach, but I’m feeling sexy about myself and I want to keep it going.”

While he left a fifth year on the table, Nix leaves South Bend with a degree and will likely be a first round draft pick come May. It’s a wonderfully validating success story for a kid that chose a Notre Dame even without a head coach.  

“At the time, when I did commit without a coach, I was told it was the dumbest decision ever,” Nix said. “But I wasn’t committing to a coach, I was committing to the university. I wanted that challenge in my life. I wanted something different for myself outside of Jacksonville, Florida. I took that risk and I think it came out to be one of the best decisions in my life.”

Special thanks to Dave Whelan and the rest of the XR4TI crew for the audio. 

 

 

Five Irish players sign UFA contracts

Matthias Farley
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Notre Dame had seven players selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, trailing only Ohio State, Clemson and UCLA on the weekend tally. But after the draft finished, the Irish had five more players get their shot at playing on Sundays.

Chris Brown signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Romeo Okwara will begin his career with the New York Giants. Matthias Farley and Amir Carlisle signed contracts with the Arizona Cardinal. Elijah Shumate agreed to a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After missing two seasons, Ishaq Williams will be at Giants rookie camp next weekend as well, working as a tryout player. Expect Jarrett Grace to receive similar opportunities.

Count me among those that thought both Brown and Okwara would hear their names called. Brown’s senior season, not to mention his intriguing measureables, had some projecting him as early as the fifth round.

Okwara, still 20 years old and fresh off leading Notre Dame in sacks in back-to-back seasons, intrigued a lot of teams with his ability to play both defensive end and outside linebacker. He’ll get a chance to make the Giants—the team didn’t draft a defensive end after selecting just one last year, and they’re in desperate need of pass rushers.

Both Shumate and Farley feel like contenders to earn a spot on rosters, both because of their versatility and special teams skills. Shumate played nickel back as a freshman and improved greatly at safety during 2015. Farley bounced around everywhere and was Notre Dame’s special teams captain.

Carlisle might fit a similar mold. He played running back, receiver and returned kicks and punts throughout his college career. With a 4.4 during Notre Dame’s Pro Day, he likely showed the Cardinals enough to take a shot, and now he’ll join an offense with Michael Floyd and Troy Niklas.

 

Robertson picks Cal over Notre Dame, UGA

Demetris Robertson
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Demetris Robertson‘s decision wasn’t trending in Notre Dame’s direction. But those that expected the Savannah star athlete to pick the in-state Bulldogs were in for a surprise when Robertson chose Cal on Sunday afternoon.

Notre Dame’s pursuit of the five-star athlete, recruited to play outside receiver and hopefully replace Will Fuller, likely ended Sunday afternoon with Robertson making the surprise decision to take his substantial talents to Berkeley. And give credit to Robertson for doing what he said all along—picking a school that’ll give him the chance to earn an exceptional education and likely contribute from Day One.

“I am excited to take my talents to the University of California, Berkeley. The first reason is that the education was a big part of my decision. I wanted to keep that foundation,” Robertson said, per CFT. “When I went there, it felt like home. Me and the coaching staff have a great relationship. That’s where I felt were the best of all things for me.”

Adding one final twist in all of this is that Robertson has no letter-of-intent to sign. Because he’s blown three months through Signing Day, Robertson merely enrolls at a college when the time comes. That means until then, Kirby Smart and the Georgia staff will continue to sell Robertson on staying home and helping the Dawgs rebuild. Smart visited with Robertson Saturday night and had multiple assistant coaches at his track meet this weekend.

Summer school begins in June for Notre Dame. Their freshman receiving class looks complete with early enrollee Kevin Stepherson and soon-to-arrive pass-catchers Javon McKinley and Chase Claypool.

Sheldon Day drafted in 4th round by Jaguars

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Former Notre Dame captain Sheldon Day didn’t have to wait long on Saturday to hear his name called. The Indianapolis native, All-American, and the Irish’s two-time defensive lineman of the year was pick number 103, the fourth pick of the fourth round on Saturday afternoon.

Day was the seventh Irish player drafted, following first rounders Ronnie Stanley and Will Fuller, second round selections Jaylon Smith and Nick Martin, and third rounders KeiVarae Russell and C.J. Prosise.

Day has a chance to contribute as he joins the 24th-ranked defense in the league. Joining a draft class heavy on defensive players—Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack and Yannick Ngakoue already picked ahead of him—the front seven will also include last year’s No. 3 overall pick Dante Fowler, who missed the entire season with a knee injury.

Scouted by the Jaguars at the Senior Bowl, Day doesn’t necessarily have the size to be a traditional defensive tackle. But under Gus Bradley’s attacking system (Bradley coordinated the Seahawks defense for four seasons), Day will find a niche and a role in a young defense that’s seen a heavy investment the past two years.

Smith, Martin, Russell and Prosise all drafted Friday night

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 13: William Fuller #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Nick Martin #72 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrate a touchdown during the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 13, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
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Jaylon Smith, Nick Martin, KeiVarae Russell and C.J. Prosise were all selected on Friday, with four Irish teammates taken on the second night of the NFL Draft. As mentioned, Smith came off the board at pick 34, with the Cowboys gambling on the injured knee of the Butkus Award winner. Nick Martin was selected at pick 50, joining former teammate Will Fuller in Houston.

The third round saw Russell and Prosise come off the board, with Kansas City jumping on the confident cornerback and the Seahawks taking Notre Dame’s breakout running back. It capped off a huge night for the Irish with Sheldon Day, one of the more productive football players in college football, still on the board for teams to pick.

Here’s a smattering of instant reactions from the immediate aftermath.