Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 16, 2015 Issue

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

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UPON FURTHER REVIEW TODD D. BURLAGE M any of them are still teenagers. Yet, from the outside looking in, these youthful Notre Dame stu- dent-athletes will forever be thought of as all grown up. C h a t r o o m s , message boards, p r i n t e d s t o r i e s and Twitter posts often suggest that these young Irish athletes are foot- ball players and football players only, brought to Notre Dame for one dual-purpose: satisfy an insa- tiable appetite for wins on fall Sat- urdays and bring a national cham- pionship back to the university in January. The everyday challenges or real- life tragedies these young men face are inconsequential. When Irish senior safety John Turner tragically lost his young mother last week to breast cancer, or when fifth- year senior linebacker and team cap- tain Joe Schmidt recently recalled the endless months of rehab and doubt he endured after shattering his leg in a game last season, or when senior run- ning back C.J. Prosise or sophomore quarterback DeShone Kizer describe the culture-shock of going from sub- stitute to stardom, perhaps some per- spective is needed this weekend after any missed tackle, dropped pass or blown coverage. "It's tough at Notre Dame, hav- ing to deal with the school work here and how dif- ficult that is just i n i t s e l f , " s a i d Prosise, who re- mains on pace to graduate in May from the Mendoza College of Busi- ness. "Then play- ing football here, that's an even big- ger time commit- ment. It's all very difficult." While most of ND Nation recognizes the Irish play- ers only from their work on Saturdays, the Showtime series "A Season With Notre Dame Football" provides an all- access look each week at the Irish play- ers and their daily challenges beyond helmets and hash marks. For those who haven't seen the Showtime production, five cam- Putting A Face On ND's Student-Athletes Linebacker Joe Schmidt is one of 14 seniors who have not only been crucial to sustained football success during their time at Notre Dame, but also contributed to a 93 percent graduation rate for the program. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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