Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 12, 2015 Issue

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

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Page 110 of 111

THE FIFTH QUARTER LOU SOMOGYI is from someone who entered this sea- son, his senior year, with 126 career rushing yards. To qualify among the best "where did he come from after all this time?" figures in Irish history, one needs to have had a relatively quiet career at his position prior to his senior (academi- cally) campaign. Over the past 50-plus years, these are the top such players, and all — per- haps not so coincidentally — occurred during championship-style runs or top-five seasons: JOHN HUARTE TO JACK SNOW (1964) — Hua- rte had one career start to his credit (a 7-6 loss to Purdue) at quarterback and hadn't even won a monogram. Snow had 10 career catches and had three carries as a halfback. As a senior under new head coach Ara Parseghian, Huarte became the first 2,000-yard passer in a season at Notre Dame en route to the Heisman Trophy, while Snow notched 60 catches for 1,114 yards to finish fifth in the vot- ing. PAUL SEILER (1966) — From a small town in Iowa, Seiler didn't crack the lineup until his senior year for the na- tional champs — and then the offen- sive tackle was the 12th pick of the NFL Draft, even higher than Alan Page at No. 15. GARY POTEMPA (1973) — The backup linebacker in 1972 with 13 career tack- les entering his senior year became the starting nose guard/middle linebacker hybrid for the 1973 national champs, and finished second in tackles before going on to dental school. JOE MONTANA (1977) — You might have heard of him. Through three seasons, he was 1-2 as a starter, had completed 42.4 percent of his 66 attempts, and had thrown twice as many interceptions (eight) than touchdowns (four). Com- ing off shoulder surgery in 1976, he entered his senior year in 1977 as the third-team QB. In his final year, he passed for 1,604 yards once he took over as the starter in the fourth quarter of the third game and rallied the Irish to a national title. FRANK STAMS (1988) — Sidelined in 1986 with an injury, the former fullback and reserve linebacker/end on a defen- sively challenged unit had 14 tackles as a senior for an 8-4 team in 1987 before returning for a fifth year. He became a consensus All-American and second- round pick for the national champs. REGGIE BROOKS (1992) — The senior went from 165 career rushing yards (plus a move from cornerback) to fifth in the Heisman balloting with 1,343 rushing yards and 8.04 yards per carry during the regular season. KEVIN MCDOUGAL (1993) — After at- tempting only 21 career passes his first three seasons and then keeping the seat warm for freshman phenom Ron Powlus (who was injured a week be- fore the season), he became the all-time pass efficiency king on an 11-1 team that finished a controversial No. 2 in the country. Sometimes it takes time to become an overnight sensation. ✦ Senior Editor Lou Somogyi has been at Blue & Gold Illustrated since July 1985. He can be reached at

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