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Here are details on the three former Irish players on the ballot: * Dave Casper - Offensive Lineman/Tight End - 1973 consensus first-team All-American . . . Notre Dame co-captain and offensive MVP in 1973 on national championship team . . . 1973 Academic All-America selection . . . received post-graduate scholarships from NCAA and National Football Foundation . . . received NCAASilvery Anniversary Award and is member of Academic All-America Hall of Fame. * Raghib Ismail - Wide Receiver - Two-time first-team All-American earning consensus honors in 1989 and unanimous honors in 1990 . . . Walter Camp Player of the Year and Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1990 . . . led Notre Dame to a Fiesta Bowl and two Orange Bowls . . . set NCAA record by twice returning two kickoffs for TDs in a single game (Rice 1988, Michigan 1989). * Jim Seymour - End - Two-time first-team All-America selection in 1967-68 . . . set Notre Dame career records for receptions (138) and receiving yards (2,113) and for pass receptions in a game (13 vs. Purdue in 1966) and still holds record for receiving yards in a game (276 in that same game). Notre Dame has 43 former players and six former coaches already enshrined in the Hall of Fame, providing more inductees than any other institution. The most recent addition is former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown, who was inducted in 2009 and enshrined in July 2010 in South Bend. - Consecutive losses dropped the Notre Dame men's basketball team to a projected #7 seed in two bracketology versions, with both versions sending the Irish to Greensboro. SI.com projected the Irish against #10 Harvard; CBSSports.com projected theIrish against #10 Southern Miss. In both cases the other half of the bracket featured #2 North Carolina. - Notre Dame's quarterfinal game in the BIG EAST Women's Basketball Championships at 2 p.m. Sunday in Hartford will be against either #8 DePaul, #9 USF or #16 Pittsburgh. - For the third time this season, Notre Dame junior guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) has been selected as the BIG EAST Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week, it was announced Tuesday by the conference office. Diggins joins Georgetown's Sugar Rodgers as the only three-time BIG EAST Player of the Week selectionsthis season, with the Fighting Irish floor general adding four other BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll citations to her current resume. In addition, this marks the 75th time a Fighting Irish women's basketball player has earned a BIG EAST weekly award (44 Players of the Week, 31 Freshmen of the Week), the second-most selections in conference history despite the fact Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST in 1995-96, a full 14 seasons after the league began sponsoring women's basketball (1982-83). Both fifth-year senior forward Devereaux Peters (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) and senior guard/tri-captain Natalie Novosel (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) also have been named BIG EAST Player of the Week at some point this season (Novosel on Dec. 19, Peters on Jan. 23). What's more, rookie forward Markisha Wright (Des Moines, Iowa/Des Moines East) was chosen as the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week on Jan. 2. . . .
ESPN.com - The reaction to what you love about Notre Dame has been strong, to say the least. Poems, love letters and all other sorts of crazy answers have come my way. And while there (thankfully) haven't been any feelings as strong as those of Al from Dadeville, you guys certainly embody the word "fanatic."Onto to the love letters ... John from Chicago writes: I love Notre Dame because blue and gold has been running through my ancestor's veins for more than 80 years. Being a fourth generation graduate of Notre Dame, I will do everything in my power to make sure my sons Knute and Ara have the same opportunities as were provided by my parents; to enjoy the fine education and loving family known as The University of Notre Dame. Yes Matt, you did read that correctly: I have two boys named Knute and Ara. Shem from Twin Cities, Minn., writes: Great Question- I love Notre Dame because I grew up 30 minutes south of the campus. Going to the games in the fall with the leaves changing and the smell of bonfires. Sitting on those hard wooden benches cheering for N.D. With night taking over and the team willing themselves to win. The crowd jublient with a great play & heart broken in defeat. My family had season tickets for 30 years Rich from Chicago writes: I love Notre Dame for the subway alumni, the fact that my grandmother when she was alive would try to watch the games and figure out who would hit the next home run (clueless but cute), the morals and virtue of the place, Touchdown Jesus, First Down Moses, the 100% graduation rate for athletes, the fact that people love or hate ND there is no middle ground. I love Notre Dame for the alumni network which recognizes the fact that when you graduate from ND you are part of the Notre Dame family, not a secular directional family limited to a certain geography but a family which transcends "college" and is more about "life". God, Country, Notre Dame! Go Irish! Patrick from Bentonville, Ark., writes: I love Notre Dame because it brings me and my father closer. I look forward to traveling to South Bend every year with him to watch the Irish play. There's not much we have in common, but we can always talk Notre Dame football. CO from Pa., writes: Oh Notre Dame, how I love thee so/Thy golden dome glistens like the sun on the snow/I only wish to see you win big one more time,for if you do that everything would be fine/I know that others have said we don't matter anymore,but they're just jealous of our tradition and lore/So we have faith in Brian Kelly, who's face is so red when our QB makes mistakes running the spread/Hail Notre Dame, our lady, our mother,because honestly I could love no other.Go Irish! Mark from Burleson, Texas, writes: Notre Dame how I love thee, let me count the ways: I love thee for the excitement you give me every Saturday during the fall/I love thee for being the standard of excellence in college football/I love thee for the greatest fight song in all the land/I love thee for all your traditions, which truly are grand/I love thee for touchdown Jesus and all you great players/I love thee for the Basilica and hearing our prayers/I love thee for all the great coaches, symbols of success/I love thee for how your athletes never cease to impress/I love thee for your Golden Dome so pristine and bright/I love thee for Rockne who said "fight, fight, fight"/I love thee for all the Heismans, lined up side by side/I love thee for 'waking the echoes' and endless pride/I love thee for the championships, while wishing for more/I love thee always, no matter the final score/I love thee for not wavering from the goal you have set/I love thee for all the great memories and vow never to forget. Brian from Minneapolis writes: I have been a fan through thick and thin/No one holds my heart as much as Brady Quinn/With all the championships it's hard to fight/Notre Dame is really tight/Heisman trophies line the halls/Tim Brown, Lujack I love them all/Rockne, Holtz, Parsegian, Leahy, and Devine/Coaches made this University very fine/Oh I love Notre Dame all the time/Skylar Diggins will you be my valentine?? George from Rochester, Mich., writes: I have loved Notre Dame for the better part of my life. I am 16 years old, live in rochester, michigan. None of my family has ever gone to Notre Dame, so I'm not really sure why I like them so much. I watch every football game every sunday, and when I can basketball for both men and women. My whole room is a mancave dedicated to Notre Dame memorablia, and I always sport irish clothing at least 3 times a week to school. I may not have the skills/smarts to get into ND, but one things for sure I will always support them good through bad. I want to be part of their traditions, I want to walk on that beautiful campus of theirs, I want to be part of notre dame. I know "Rudy" probably won't happen again, but if it ever does, that person will be me. God, Country, Notre Dame. Phil from Beaver Falls, Pa., writes: I love Notre Dame as much as I love my girlfriend. There is no other team that love more than them. Having be from Steeler country it is hard to explain to people that I love them more than the Steelers. Don't get me wrong the Steelers are great, but college football is so much more emotional! The Steelers could lose 5 games and still make the playoffs, and possibly the Super Bowl. You can't say the same in college football. The first time I ever went to Notre Dame and I got to my seat I cried. I cried because this is a place I see every week and would imagine one day I would be in the bleachers. when that day came it was surreal. Matt, unless you're an ND fan you wouldn't understand. However I really don't expect to be on the blog, but I figured I would just express how much Notre Dame means to me. Jacques from Boston writes: What do I love about Notre Dame? Not everything. I don't love that some people hate it. I don't love that some people, even some who sincerely love it, don't understand it. I don't love that some people don't even know where it is. But what I know, and love, is that Notre Dame matters; it's divisive, that is, people either hate it or love it. Whether the football team is good or not isn't relevant to its relevancy. I love that it's a mystery that's hard to understand, that it challenges you to try comprehending what it's about. Truthfully, I don't worry too much about who doesn't know where it is, because those to whom it matters will always know the way back and inevitably find that road home. Simply put, it becomes a part of you, a part of your family, something for which many would take a broken nose or black eye. Its campus is poetry, its tradition is tangible. More than anything, its identity is unshakable, and that identity is the hardest of all to understand much less put into words. So, my love letter to Notre Dame is really Notre Dame as a letter to everyone else, because, you see, once you glimpse what Notre Dame is really about, you've caught a flash of a deeper love than something related to sports; once you've seen it, you've seen what love can really mean. Josh from Columbus, Ohio, writes: Oh, where to start.....i have not missed a game since I was 9 years old, Im now 27. I have missed numerous baseball games (both as a player and coach) because they interferred with Irish football. My wife cannot understand how i can put a sport ahead of all us, Isimply explain to her that I do not miss ND football for anything, that was proved during Sun Bowl with Miami when I chose to forgo dinner with her and the in laws because they couldnt wait until the game was over. I have taken off work or called in sick if I was scheduled to work during a game. The topper may be that during the 06 ND vs MSU game, the cops were called on my celebration of Lamberts INT. I love ND football so much, that for 13 weeks a year, my wife knows to check what time the game is before even mentioning anything to me. - Matt Fortuna