Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2016

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

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balance them nicely." During spring break this year (March 5-13), Tillery traveled to Ger- many with his godmother to visit a close family friend who is in the military. The trip also included a visit to Paris and to Auschwitz in Poland, the infamous death camp in World War II. "A sobering ex- perience," Tillery said. "I learned a lot. I had a good spring." Prior to the start o f t h e s u m m e r session last year, Ti l l e r y j o i n e d R o b i n s o n a n d several other foot- ball players who studied abroad in South Africa for three weeks, and also took in a sa- fari and visited t h e b e a c h e s i n Cape Town as part of his intellectual stimulation. "It was a country of contrast, re- ally huge townships with the poorest people in the world to opulent neigh- borhoods, super-rich and fancy," he said. "It was a country that really gave me a different outlook on life." This year, prior to the six-week summer session (which begins June 13) and after the spring term (which ended May 6), he might travel to Jerusalem, along with safety Drue Tranquill, among others, to study a theology course for several weeks, beginning May 23. The globetrotting Tillery also has been to Ireland (dur- ing fall break last October), Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Senegal and Turkey — which might make him consider expanding his major to in- ternational economics. "I'm trying to take full advantage of this experience," Tillery said of his college years. "I know there is a lot to offer and it's very exciting what we've been doing." The natural in- quiry is whether football is impor- tant to him or just a n o t h e r h o b b y, the same question that has followed Robinson. "I understand why I'm here," Ti l l e r y s a i d . " I know what comes first and second. I feel like I've worked on and gotten better at prioritizing things in my life. It's not an easy process … "When football is going on you can't think about the math test you have on Tuesday. And when you're taking that math test, you can't be thinking about practice in the morn- ing. [I'm] giving my full attention and time to both. "I knew coming to Notre Dame you could do a lot and you could see a lot, and this would be a great experience." The show is destined to be an ex- tended series. ✦ Tillery started three of the 12 games he played in a year ago and averaged 29.3 snaps per contest while compiling 12 tackles (two for loss). PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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