Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 26, 2022*

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

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16 NOV. 26, 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY TYLER HORKA J on Sot has the same pregame routine every Saturday. It never changes. Notre Dame could be playing undefeated No. 4 Clemson or unranked 3-7 Boston College. It always stays the same. The Notre Dame graduate student punter grabs a wallet-sized, laminated prayer card and some headphones. He listens to "Me and My Brother" by 5IVE. The lyrics begin within seconds of pushing play. He instantly resonates with them. He could have written them himself. "I know I miss my brother, yeah . I know I miss my brother, yeah." Sot misses his every day. Fifteen months Sot's senior, Michael Thomas Sot died from injuries sus- tained in a head-on, two-car collision on Dec. 4, 2018. A 20-year-old sopho- more at The College of New Jersey, Mi- chael was a designated driver taking friends and classmates home from an off-campus party in the early morning hours of Dec. 2 when his 2007 Dodge Charger was struck by an oncoming 2018 Kia Optima. The driver of the Optima, David La- mar, was traveling at roughly 85 miles per hour on a residential road and had a blood-alcohol level of .239, nearly three times the legal limit of .08. He was sen- tenced to 12 years in prison on Nov. 8, 2021. Sot was a freshman at Harvard at the time of the crash. He flew from Boston back home to see his brother for the fi- nal time. Michael was not conscious in his hospital bed when his brother ar- rived, but he was still alive. He held on long enough for Sot to say one last thing to him, whether he could hear it or not. They are words Sot has lived by for nearly four full years now. "I'm going to make you proud." Sot's punting average of 43.7 yards through 10 games is the seventh-best single-season mark in Notre Dame his- tory. If he holds onto it for the entire year and reaches a minimum of 50 boots — he had 39 through 10 games — he'll record the third-best career average in Fighting Irish history. He's not etching his name in the re- cord books of the most storied program in college football history on his own. He called his brother's celestial pres- ence a "superpower." "Everything I've done since Michael's passing, I dedicate to him and I do for him," Sot told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "It gives me purpose. Sometimes when I hit an amazing punt, I feel like my brother is up there helping me do that stuff. I feel like I couldn't be doing that without him." 'STRENGTH AND RESILIENCE' Sot's daily tributes to his brother started immediately. He was the one who read Michael's eulogy. His parents told him they'd get too emotional if they tried. Sot stepped up and delivered a powerful five-minute speech written as a letter. "I was speaking to him like he was in the room," Sot said. Casey Ransone, Sot's high school coach at Metuchen (N.J.) Saint Joseph High School, saw Sot do some amazing things on the football field in three years there. He witnessed Sot, a first-team all-county wide receiver, run away from future Michigan and current Green Bay Packers Sot (left) is motivated by the loss of his older brother Michael (right), who died in a car accident in 2018. PHOTO COURTESY SOT FAMILY THE GOLD STAR Shaped by the death of his older brother, Notre Dame punter Jon Sot sets out to live every day with a higher purpose

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