Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2024

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 87 of 91

88 MARCH 2024 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED IRISH IN THE PROS BY TODD D. BURLAGE H alf a dozen former Irish players received post- season NFL honors based on their work during the 2023- 24 regular season. Some names are regulars on the All-Pro and Pro Bowl lists, while others are making their first appearance. Three former Notre Dame stars earned first-team NFL All-Pro honors, which tied Oklahoma for the most rep- resentatives from one school. Let's start with the All- Pros. • For the seventh time dur- ing his 10-year NFL career, Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Zack Martin earned first-team All-Pro honors. The former Irish All-American, who played at Notre Dame from 2009-13, also earned his ninth Pro Bowl selection this season. • Making his first appearance as a first-team All-Pro, former Irish safety Kyle Hamilton — who played at Notre Dame from 2019-21 — finished this sea- son with 81 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced f u m b l e a n d 4 i n - terceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. • Following a re- cord-breaking rookie season, Dallas Cow- b o y s p l a c e k i c k e r Brandon Aubrey also earned first-team All- Pro honors. The former Irish soccer player from 2013-16 finished his first NFL season 36- of-38 on field goals and 49-of-52 on extra points. Aubrey made the first 36 field goal at- tempts of his career, an NFL record, and went 10-of-10 from 50-plus yards in 2023-24, also the best mark ever for a kicker in a single season. • After a breakout season that in- cluded 1,144 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns, Los Angeles Rams tailback Kyren Williams earned second-team All-Pro honors. Williams — who played at Notre Dame from 2019-21 — finished the regular season ranked third in the NFL in rushing yards and tied for third in the league in total touchdowns. • Also recognized with postseason honors, India- napolis Colts guard Quenton Nelson earned his sixth Pro Bowl selection in as many seasons on the job. • And, playing his first season with the Seattle Sea- hawks, safety Julian Love also earned Pro Bowl honors af- ter recording 123 tackles, 4 interceptions and 10 passes defended. SUPER BOWL MATTERS In a true case of getting the last laugh, former Notre Dame team captain and first- year Kansas City Chiefs backup line- backer Drue Tranquill capped a tremen- dous season the night of Feb. 11, with a 25-22 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII. Playing behind starting Mike line- backer Nick Bolton, Tranquill played limited snaps in the game but still re- corded 2 tackles. After being traded from division rival San Diego in the pre- season, Tranquill — who played at Notre Dame from 2014-19 — finished the regular season with 78 tack- les, 7 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. For San Francisco, former Irish offensive lineman Aaron Banks s ta r te d t h e S u p e r Bowl at left guard for the 49ers and helped the team to a modest 110 rushing yards on 31 carries, while al- lowing only 1 sack in the loss. ✦ Fighting Irish Well-Represented And Successful In The NFL Postseason Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Zack Martin earned first-team All-Pro honors for the seventh time during his 10-year NFL career. PHOTO BY JAMES D. SMITH/COURTESY DALLAS COWBOYS FIGHTING IRISH HEADLINERS Kyle Hamilton (Played at Notre Dame from 2019-21), S, Baltimore Ravens (NFL) The former Irish All-American capped his breakout season — his second in the NFL — with 11 tackles in a 17-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 28, in the AFC Championship game. The Greece native finished the season with 81 tackles, 4 interceptions and first-team All-Pro honors. Aaron Banks, (Played at Notre Dame from 2017-20), OL, San Francisco 49ers, (NFL) In a 34-31 comeback win over the Detroit Lions on Jan. 28, that vaulted the 49ers into the Super Bowl, the Alameda, Calif., native and former Irish All-American was a key cog on a rushing attack that piled up 155 yards and 6.7 yards per carry. Eva Gaetino (Played soccer at Notre Dame from 2020-23), D, Paris Saint Germain, (Pro Ligue 1) The Dexter, Mich., native became the second Irish player in consecutive years to sign a professional contract with the Paris Saint Germain soccer club, joining former teammate Korbin Albert on the elite team. Gaetino was a first-team All-American and the ACC Defender of the Year this past season.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - March 2024