Irish Players Define 2007-08 NFL Playoffs

AP Photo/Eric Gray

Here we are, less than 24 hours from National Signing Day. Coach Charlie Weis is on the verge of landing arguably Notre Dame’s best recruiting class since 1991. Meanwhile, the Urban Meyers of the world are still hustling to blow that last bit of smoke up some kid’s ass about how ND is irrelevant and doesn’t prepare him for the next level.

I’m assuming most high school recruits have televisions. I’m also assuming most high school recruits watched the NFL playoffs this past month. But for those who might have missed it, allow me to recap…

AFC Wild Card Round, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers:

Two-time Jaguars’ Pro Bowler John Henderson is knocked out of the game on the first series. Derek Landri, a 4th-round pick out of Notre Dame, replaces Henderson at defensive tackle. After throwing the critical block on special teams that sets up a 96-yard kickoff return by Maurice Jones-Drew, Landri goes on to register a sack, an interception, and the game-winning fumble recovery

NFC Divisional Round, Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers:

Notre Dame alum Ryan Grant rushes for 201 yards and 3 touchdowns, both of which set franchise records for Packers’ post-season games. In a driving snowstorm, with the ghosts of Lambeau looking down upon him, Grant manages a near-superhuman 7.4 yards-per-carry. Grant’s playoff effort caps a 3-month/11-game stretch in which he averages 114 yards from the line of scrimmage per-game, second in the league to only LaDainian Tomlinson.

Super Bowl XLII, New York Giants vs. New England Patriots:

Former ND defensive end Justin Tuck, recently re-signed by the Giants to a 5-year/$30 million deal, makes his case for Super Bowl MVP. Facing the greatest offense in NFL history and a Patriots o-line that’s sending three of its five starters to the Pro Bowl, Tuck accounts for two sacks, two hurries, and a fumble. His performance inspires a Giants defense that will eventually sack, knock down, or hurry Tom Brady an almost obscene 23 times.

Three Notre Dame players.

Three Notre Dame graduates.

Three MVP-caliber performances on the biggest stage in all of professional sports.

Notre Dame isn’t relevant? Justin Tuck has a Super Bowl ring and a college degree that can get him in the door with most Fortune 500 companies. How much more relevant can a university be to a high school student-athlete’s future?


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  1. Jeff 12 years ago

    Perfectly put. Whenever a NFL player is being interviewed after the game saying the typical, “Um, yeah, you know… It is what it is.” or something stupid like that my girlfriend will turn to me and say, “He didn’t go to Notre Dame did he?”
    Let the rest of the country do their trash talking now because Notre Dame will simply continue to graduate players while climbing back to football greatness with recruiting classes like this. Go Irish

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  2. JC 12 years ago

    ND, Charlie and staff, congratulations on a stellar 2008 football recruiting class. Despite all the “analysis-paralysis” ND football is progressing on a number of fronts. An embraceable season is on the horizon!

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  3. JC 12 years ago

    NDGuy07, the article was excellent!

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  4. JC 12 years ago

    Speaking of relevancy, I predict we will sign 3 more recruits tomorrow and one surprise. I also welcome a minor break in the schedule to develop our team since 11 true freshman played in 2007. Technically, we were a few dropped passes from finishing 6-6. Nevertheless, with the addition of Jon Tenuta further demonstrates a commitment to a swarming ND defense which was also relevant in the Super Bowl. Tomorrow, ND, Charlie and staff will skillfully demonstrate integrity, trustworthiness and ethics which is an inestimable hallmark of the university. 2008 Notre Dame football recruiting will be a special year!

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  5. Mike 12 years ago

    “Notre Dame isn’t relevant? Justin Tuck has a Super Bowl ring and a college degree that can get him in the door with most Fortune 500 companies. How much more relevant can a university be to a high school student-athlete’s future?”
    — That is the best quote I’ve seen in quite some time.

    P.S. It’s tough being an Irish fan in Happy Valley.

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  6. Jim Nesci 12 years ago

    Couldn’t of said it better myself.

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