Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 11, 2021

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

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52 SEPT. 11, 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED IRISH ECHOES JIM LEFEBVRE I n anticipation of Notre Dame's meet- ing with Wisconsin at Chicago's Sol- dier Field Sept. 25, we continue our look at the many links between Chi- cagoland and the Fighting Irish down through the years. Here are our picks for an all-time Chi- cagoland Notre Dame offensive lineup. (Keep in mind that many early stars were from the one-platoon era, and could show up on the all-time defense, which we'll reveal in next week's col- umn). Players are from Chicago, unless otherwise noted. ENDS Knute Rockne, 1910-13 • 5-8, 165 • Northwest Division H.S. Let's start with the man himself. As a senior captain at Notre Dame in 1913, he developed pass routes with quarterback Gus Dorais, shocked Army, 35-13, and helped create modern football. Even as a player, he was already dreaming up ways the game could fea- ture smaller, quicker players. Rockne re- ceived All-American mention that sea- son en route to a Hall of Fame coaching career. Backup: Miles Boykin, 2015-18 • 6-4, 220 • Tinley Park, Providence Catholic H.S. Roger Kiley, 1919-21 • 6-0, 180 • St. Philip H.S. Considered one of the game's first great pass receivers, he snared aerials from George Gipp on teams that went 28-1-0. A two-time first-team All- American. Went on to a distinguished career in law and politics, serving as a Chicago alderman and a Cook County and Illinois Appellate Court judge. Backup: Cole Kmet, 2017-19 • 6-6, 262 • Arlington Heights, St. Viator H.S. TACKLES Ziggy Czarobski, 1942-43 and 1946-47 • 6-0, 213 • Mt. Carmel H.S. In a college career interrupted by two years of military service, Czarobski won All-America honors helping the Irish to the 1947 national championship. He was later inducted into the College Foot- ball Hall of Fame (1977) and the Polish- American Sports Hall of Fame (1984). Backup: Edward "Moose" Krause, 1931-33 • 6-3, 217 • De La Salle Institute Mirko Jurkovic, 1988-91 • 6-4, 281 • Calumet City, Thornton Fractional North H.S. Jurkovic rose from being a backup on the 1988 national champs to gaining consensus All-American honors while leading the Irish line in 1991. A charismatic figure, Mirko made teammates and everyone he met feel better. He lost a two-year battle with cancer in January 2013. Backup: Ed Beinor, 1936-38 • 6-2, 207 • Harvey, Thornton Township H.S. GUARDS Bill Fischer, 1945-48 • 6-2, 226 • Lane Tech H.S. One of the most dominant linemen of his era, Fischer earned consensus All- American honors in 1947 and 1948, and won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top lineman in 1948. A three-time All- Pro with the Chicago Cardinals, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Backup: Charlie Bachman, 1914-16 • 5-11, 187 • Englewood H.S. Bert Metzger, 1928-30 • 5-9, 149 • Loyola Academy Metzger became well-known as one of Rockne's "watch charm guards," who were seriously undersized but extremely quick and agile, and used wrestling-type moves to get the defender off-balance and out of the way. Metzger was an All- American for the 1930 national champs and eventual inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame. Backup: Tim Grunhard, 1986-89 • 6-3, 292 • St. Laurence H.S. CENTER George Trafton, 1919 • 6-2, 230 • Oak Park H.S. A behemoth for his time at 230 pounds, Trafton teamed with George Gipp to lead the 1919 Irish to a 9-0 sea- son and some of their first national ac- claim. He then joined the Decatur Sta- leys for the inaugural season of the NFL. He would play 12 more seasons for the Staleys/Bears and earn a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and on the NFL's all-1920s team. Backup: Frank Rydzewski, 1915-17 • 6-1, 224 • St. Stanislaus H.S. QUARTERBACK Tommy Rees, 2010-13 • 6-2, 215 • Lake Bluff, Lake Forest H.S. Rees started four games for the Irish as a freshman in 2010, including an upset of USC and a 33-17 victory over Miami in the Sun Bowl. He started 12 games each in 2011 and 2013, and finished his career with 30 starts, completing 600 of 1,001 pass attempts for 7,351 yards, with 61 touchdowns against 37 interceptions. He became ND's offensive coordinator in 2020 at the age of 28. Backup: Tom Carey, 1951-54 • 5-10, 180 • Mt. Carmel H.S. Knute Rockne came to Notre Dame as an end from Chicago's Northwest Division High School. After revolutionizing the forward pass with team- mate Gus Dorais, he later exploited the passing game as a Hall of Fame coach for the Irish. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS Chicagoland Has Supplied A Plethora Of Irish Stars Through The Decades

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