Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 24, 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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50 SEPT. 24, 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED IRISH IN THE PROS BY COREY BODDEN D efensive end Isaac Rochell spent much of his rookie campaign in 2017 with the Los Angeles Chargers on the team's practice squad. The former Irish standout — who was drafted in the seventh round by the Chargers — saw action in three games and compiled four tackles, including a sack. While he was in the pre-draft pro- cess a year ago, Rochell made a con- scious effort to change his diet and improve his health. His efforts paid off as he lost around 25 pounds by the time his second training camp rolled around this year. After playing at around 290 pounds his final year in South Bend, the 6-4 Rochell is now under 270 pounds. "People would make jokes about players not having money to eat at night, well that junk is true," Rochell said per Eric Williams of ESPN over the summer. "I didn't have any bread in college. Little Caesars Pizza was $5, so I would get that instead of go- ing and eating a healthier option. "It's been good — all of the classic, 'I feel like I have more energy,' I think that stuff is true, so we'll see. I just feel better, and mentally you feel bet- ter because you know that you're be- ing really intentional in what you're doing. And I think that just spills over into a lot of other things in life." Rochell's new diet and energy helped the second-year pro earn rave reviews from coaches and teammates during the offseason and preseason, when he made four starts. He went from on the bubble for roster cuts to a backup role behind star end Joey Bosa. "He's definitely making plays," Chargers defensive end Melvin In- gram said before the team's opener. "Ike's always been good. We always knew he could do it. "And he's just showcasing his talent because he's been making so many plays. He's definitely going to be another piece to our rotation." While he was set to be part of the rotation, Rochell received an oppor- tunity in week one against the Kan- sas City Chiefs. Bosa was forced to miss the opener because of a foot injury, which allowed Rochell to step up and receive the first start of his professional career. "It always feels good to know your coaches have faith in you," Rochell told before the contest. "When stuff like this happens, you don't want your coaches to feel like they're now in survival mode. You want them to be like, 'Alright, well the next guy's in. We have confidence in him, let's roll.' "They definitely do a good job of telling me that, which makes me feel good about my play. "But the biggest thing is during the Isaac Rochell Is Poised To Make An Impact Rochell made his first career start and recorded four tackles for the Los Angeles Chargers in their 38‑28 loss to Kansas City Sept. 9. PHOTO BY MIKE NOWAK/LOS ANGELES CHARGERS NOTRE DAME IN THE NFL: WEEK ONE HIGHLIGHTS • Tyler Eifert (Played at Notre Dame from 2009-12), TE, Cincinnati Bengals: Caught all three of his targets for 44 yards in a 34-23 win over the Indianapolis Colts … It was his first game since week two of the 2017 season, nearly a full year. • DeShone Kizer (2014-16), QB, Green Bay Packers: Completed 4 of 7 passes for 55 yards with an interception in a 24-23 win over the Chicago Bears … Star Aaron Rodgers had to leave the game tem- porarily after suffering an apparent knee injury in the first half, but returned to lead the Packers to a comeback victory in the final 30 minutes. • Mike McGlinchey (2013-17), OL, San Francisco 49ers: Started at right tackle for the 49ers in a 24-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings … Played almost all of the second half at right guard after the team's starter and backup at the position went down with injuries. • Harrison Smith (2007-11), S, Minnesota Vikings: Led the team in tackles with eight, including two for loss and a sack, while grabbing the game-clinching interception in a 24-16 win over the San Fran- cisco 49ers … Also had a pass defended. Named NFC Defensive Player of The Week. • Golden Tate (2007-09), WR, Detroit Lions: Scored the team's lone offensive touchdown while grabbing seven receptions for 79 yards in a 48-17 loss to the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.

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