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

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64 PRESEASON 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED IRISH ECHOES JIM LEFEBVRE BY JIM LEFEBVRE M ore than a century ago, Knute Rockne railed against what he called "tramp athletes," college football prospects who skipped from campus to campus in the early fall, hop- ing to catch on with a team and only be- latedly bothering to visit the registrar's office. Rockne would spend many hours ev- ery summer writing each of his play- ers, in part to determine exactly who he could expect on campus when he blew the first whistle in September. Today, of course, the transfer por- tal has added an element of surprise to what each team looks like when fall rolls around. Irish fans, for instance, are anxious to see how highly anticipated Northwestern transfer Brandon Joseph fits into the Notre Dame secondary. While transfers to Notre Dame over the years have been relatively rare, it's interesting to note that several Irish national championship teams included players who began at other schools. Here are a few of the most notable such Irish transfers: JOE BACH Carleton College (1921) To Notre Dame (1923-24) In a five-year span, Bach went from living in a hardscrabble mining location on Minnesota's Iron Range to playing for the most famous football team in the land. He was a multi-sport star at Chisholm High School, and when he led his bas- ketball team to the state tourney held in Northfield, Minn., he attracted the atten- tion of the coaches at Carleton College. In his one fall at Carleton, the scrappy Bach went up against the College of St. Thomas, which was coached by former Notre Dame quarterback Joe Brandy. After the game, Brandy and others convinced Bach he was skilled enough to advance to a higher level of play, and they paved the way for him to reach South Bend. After sitting out 1922, Bach took over as starting left tackle in 1923, and helped anchor the line for the 1924 na- tional champs, gaining fame as one of The Seven Mules. MARTY BRILL Penn (1927) To Notre Dame (1929-30) It was natural for Brill, a Philadel- phia native, to start his college career without leaving his hometown. After all, the Quakers played a tough schedule including Ivy powers Princeton, Har- vard and Yale. But, the story goes, Brill felt unappreciated during his freshman season and looked for greener playing fields. In his two seasons with the Irish, Brill earned All-America honors and was a two-time national champion. His crowning glory came on Nov. 8, 1930, when he led the Irish into Franklin Field for a battle with his former team. Brill's father, a truck manufactur- ing executive, is said to have promised his son $1,000 for each touchdown he would score against the Quakers. Marty came through, reaching the end zone three times in a 60-20 drubbing of Penn. GEORGE CONNOR Holy Cross (1942-43) To Notre Dame (1946-47) Connor, out of Chicago's De La Salle Institute, started with Holy Cross, a very respectable program at the time. His sophomore year there, he was voted a second-team All-American af- ter the Crusaders defeated Brown, Col- gate, Temple and Villanova, while los- After transferring from Carleton College in Minnesota, left tackle Joe Bach gained fame as one of The Seven Mules that helped the Fighting Irish win the 1924 national championship. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS Transfers To Notre Dame Have Been Rare But Impactful

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