Notre Dame has had plenty of marquee players along the way to its 12-0 regular season, but in order to pull off an undefeated regular season you need plenty of unsung heroes to help out along the way. Here are eight players who may not have picked up any off-season hardware of made any All American lists whose contributions were vital to getting Notre Dame to Miami for the BCS Championship game.
Mike Golic Jr
At the end of last season, many posters on forum were debating whether or not Notre Dame should invite Mike Golic Jr back for a 5th season. Golic had filled in admirably for Braxston Cave when Notre Dame’s starting center went down with an injury at the end of last season, but he also has his fair share of struggles as well. Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame coaching staff ended up inviting Golic back for a 5th year and they have been rewarded for doing so. Golic didn’t make any All American lists, but his play has been a big reason why the Irish running game has been as strong as its been this season. Other linemen may have had better years, but Golic has played better than anyone could have hoped when he locked down the starting spot despite some problems with procedure penalties in the middle of the season. Against the stout Alabama defensive front Golic will have his hands full in pass protection – the one area where he has struggled some this year – but his run blocking, specifically his ability to pull, is one of the many reasons Notre Dame will be facing that stingy defense next week.