Blue and Gold Illustrated

June July 2018

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

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12 JUNE/JULY 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME Two incoming Notre Dame freshman football players, defensive tackle Ja'Mion Franklin and wide receiver Braden Lenzy, won state titles in their respective events while competing in track and field. On May 24 at the Maryland state meet, Franklin (6-1, 296) recorded a launch of 55 feet, 9.5 inches in the shot put to capture the boys' Class 2A title in that event held at Morgan State University's Hughes Stadium. The achievement was espe- cially gratifying for Franklin because since last spring he: • Finished the 2017 track season as the runner- up in the shot put and discus events. • Led a 10-0 campaign in football before a heart- breaking 33-29 loss in the regional semifinals. • Started on the North Caroline High basketball team that lost to Lake Clifton in the 2A state championship showdown March 10. "About time. That's all I can say," Franklin told Times-Record writer William Haufe after the meet. "I've been chasing it for four years. Wouldn't ask for a better way to go out. Finally, I can say I'm a state champion. "I just don't like the feeling of coming up short, especially knowing you can win it all. … I gave it everything I had and it finally paid off and I finally have the feeling that I've been chasing the last four years." Meanwhile, Lenzy, who also will run track at Notre Dame, competed in the 200 meters, the 400 meters, the 4x100-meter relay and the 4x400-meter relay at the Oregon 6A state meet May 17-19. The four-star football prospect ran a sizzling an- chor leg in the 4x100 to win the title with a 41.68 total. He finished runner-up in the 200 (21.57), 400 (47.52) and 4x400 relay (3:18.11). Interestingly, Lenzy had won the Oregon 6A state titles in the 400 in 2016 (48.13) and 2017 (47.92) with slower times. He has run the 200 as fast as 21.34, but sophomore track prodigy Micah Williams — who Lenzy believes can be a future Olympic medalist — won the state title in the 200 with a blazing 21.19 time. CHRIS ZORICH IS NEW AD AT CHICAGO STATE Chicago native, former Notre Dame two-time consensus All-American and 1990 Lombardi Award winner Chris Zorich, who also played with the Chicago Bears from 1991-96, began his new line of work May 8 as athletics director at Chicago State. Since 2015, Zorich had been the AD at Prairie State, a community college in Chicago Heights. According to The Chicago Tribune, Chicago State has taken huge hits financially while at the same time graduation rates fell to around 11 percent and the freshman class dropped to 86 students. On Zorich's short-term agenda was hiring men's and women's basketball coaches. The men finished 3-29, while the women finally snapped a 59-game losing streak Feb. 8. Zorich knows something about bouncing back. The starting sophomore nose guard for the 1988 national champions that would propel a school-record 23- game winning streak has landed on his feet since getting sentenced to three years probation following a federal tax evasion conviction. The probation was dropped to two years after he completed community service and paid a fine. "Those financial issues were not because of a lack of financial acumen," Zorich told The Chicago Tribune. "It was unfortunate that I wasn't in charge of that as- pect. I took full responsibility. "I enjoyed the work, [but] I went through hell for it. … What happened with me was my mistake and my fault. I learned from it, I owned up to it. Now I'm ready to go to the next step in my life." Zorich was named the athletics director at Chicago State May 8. PHOTO COURTESY FIGHTING IRISH DIGITAL MEDIA Franklin captured the Maryland Class 2A state title in the shot put with a toss of 55 feet, 9.5 inches. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM Ja'Mion Franklin And Braden Lenzy Earn State Titles

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