Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2018

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

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Page 4 of 47 FEBRUARY 2018 5 FAN FORUM A CHRISTMAS PRESENT 70 YEARS LATER I have subscribed to Blue & Gold Il- lustrated about 40 years, but this year you delivered my treasured 1947 gift via one of your ads! In 1947, I was in second grade at St. Alphonsus Grammar School in East Los Angeles. I was raised in East L.A., the middle child of a family of seven children. We were Irish to the core — Dad a Costigan, Mom born a Kelly. One November Thursday when the dismissal bell rang, the nun who was our teacher asked me to stop at her desk. She said the Notre Dame foot- ball team was coming Friday morning. They would be picked up by bus at the East L.A. station and bused to St. Alphonsus to attend mass. The church was across the street from school. She said the eighth graders were going to serve the team orange juice and doughnuts after Mass, and asked if I would like to assist them. I lost my breath — the question was that miraculous. Friday, it got even better! I got to hold Johnny Lujack's orange juice while he signed autographs for the other kids. The next day, they trounced the USC Trojans 38-7 to clinch the national title. For the last 70 years, I have proudly told people my story despite their disbelief. I thank you for being my co-author. Go Irish! Go BGI! Chuck Costigan Thousand Oaks, Calif. FROM THE WEBSITE How successful the 2018 Notre Dame football team can be will rest in part on the decisions of four juniors who have until Jan. 15 to decide whether to return as seniors or turn pro: running back Josh Adams, wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, defensive lineman Jerry Tillery and linebacker Te'von Coney. Our subscribers at weighed in with their thoughts prior to the Citrus Bowl Jan. 1. South Side Irish: I'm very curious as to what the draft projections are for these guys. They're all talented but are any of them projected to go in the top three rounds? Adams is great but RBs now seem to be looked at as being in the dime-a- dozen category. Coney could move up the draft board with another year, and I'm not sure NFL GMs are waiting anxiously to see what St. Brown and Tillery decide. Some kids are just ready to move on, which is certainly their choice. Cyaros44: To me, that's the reason Adams should go. Get to the league and try to make as much money as possible before your body takes too many hits. The others could all greatly improve their stock by coming back. 42Stauqs: Losing Tillery would be huge — biggest recruit this cycle. Soco24: Looking at Tillery's stats now compared to guys projected in the first round at his position (Bama's Da'Ron Payne, Clemson's Christian Wilkins, Washington's Vita Vea), it looks like Tillery could make a strong case to go in the first two rounds. But then again, that's just looking at his stats. PaDomer30: Josh Adams is the only player I think should go. He is ready and with his past injury history, he should go while healthy. The others should stay. Another year to benefit from Matt Balis and the new defensive staff, they all have potential to be high round draft picks. Right now I don't think anyone other than Adams is higher than a 5th- or 6th-rounder. Irishcliff: Tillery got stronger and better each year. He's got very good measurables. I'd love him to stay, but he's got a strong case for going pro. Littlearmy84: I really hope Tillery elects to stay. He really transformed his body this past year with less than a year under the new strength and conditioning program. If he put in another year I think he could be a truly domi- nant player with a chance at being a day 1 pick. Not to mention he probably won't take nearly as many snaps next year because he should have more help at the nose with the younger guys having a year under their belt, some other guys being healthier and another recruiting class. I can really see Tillery taking about 150 less snaps and having a special year. RichStarkey: If I wasn't a fan, I would say that Adams should go. Same with Tillery. Coney should stay. St. Brown is tougher. He has the skills and he'll be able to focus 24/7 on getting better. My guess is his plan all along was to come out after this year, but the struggles in the passing game have caused him to second-guess himself — and he's probably wondering if those struggles will continue. I think he should stay, but I'm guess- ing he's gone. Doug'sDad: I did not realize that Sheldon Day got $2.9-million as a 4th-round draft choice. That's a big chunk of change for someone who would like to change his Mom's life. BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P. O. Box 1007, Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: Running back Josh Adams is among a quartet of Fighting Irish juniors that had until Jan. 15 to decide whether to return as seniors or turn pro. PHOTO BY ANGELA DRISKELL

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