Irish veteran offensive lineman who started for the second season in 2000 at right offensive guard. . . fifth-year player who leads all active players in career playing time . . . winner of the Guardian of the Year Award as top Notre Dame offensive lineman in 2000 . . . named third-team All-American by The Sporting News and All-Indepedent by Football News . . . rated by The Sporting News as third-best offensive guard among pro prospects in Nov. 6 issue . . . named to 2000 preseason All-Independent teams by The Sporting News and Football News . . . probably ranks as best athlete of Irish offensive linemen and was a difference-maker again in 2000 . . . boasts impressive strength and ability to knock opponents off the ball . . . smart, athletic player has grown into leadership role on offensive front line . . .former tight end has worked nicely into Irish offensive line plans.
AS A SENIOR: Fifth-year player who ranked as returning starter at right guard . . . leads all active players in career playing time . . . started all 12 games in 2000 -- including 2001 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl vs. Oregon State -- and started 26 consecutive games for Irish to finish his career . . . garnered Guardian of the Year Award as top Irish offensive lineman. . . named third-team All-American by The Sporting News . . . earned All-Independent Team honors from Football News and Collegefootballnews.com . . . named to preseason All-Independent teams by The Sporting News and Football News . . . rated by The Sporting News as third-best offensive guard among pro prospects in Nov. 6 issue . . . played every offensive snap in seven games (vs. Texas A&M, Purdue, Michigan State, Stanford, West Virginia, Air Force and Boston College) . . . helped Irish score four touchdowns on the ground and rack up 380 yards rushing vs. Boston College, the highest Notre Dame rushing output since 1996 vs. Boston College . . . enabled Irish to finish 14th in rushing and 17th in passing efficiency in final NCAA stats. . . made 57 regular-season special team appearances, then one more vs. Oregon State . . . selected to play in the 2001 Delchamps Senior Bowl all-star game.
AS A JUNIOR: Notre Dame regular at right offensive guard for Irish in '99 as most experienced of returning candidates at that position . . . started every game in '99 at right guard for the Irish . . . one of only three players who played more than 300 minutes in '99, finishing only 29 seconds behind team leader John Merandi at center . . . helped Irish rush for 363 yards (7.1 per carry) and five touchdowns in '99 opener vs. Kansas . . . helped Irish rank 21st nationally in total offense.
AS A SOPHOMORE: Finished '98 season as Irish starter at strong guard spot on offensive line . . . played in all 12 games in '98 . . . played significant minutes as top reserve at offensive guard for Irish through first nine weeks of regular season . . . moved into starting lineup for first time vs. LSU after knee injury suffered by Jerry Wisne vs. Navy . . . also started vs. USC and vs. Georgia Tech in 1999 Gator Bowl . . . played as blocking fullback in short-yardage, goal-line situations vs. Baylor, helping comprise what Irish coaches termed the Elephant backfield.
AS A FRESHMAN: Did not play in a game in '97 . . . had surgery to repair broken bone just above ankle suffered in practice the week prior to the '97 Pittsburgh game and missed remainder of season . . . did not see varsity action as rookie in '96. HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Two-time all-city, all-district and all-area pick . . . earned four letters as tight end and defensive end at Garland High School in Garland, Texas . . . helped team to '94 district title and 9-0-1 regular season and '95 squad to playoff win over Plano and 10-3 overall mark . . . had six receptions for 83 yards as senior in 95 . . . three-year starter on both offense and defense . . . was sophomore starter at age 14 on 7-3-1 district runner-up squad . . . caught four passes for 76 yards and one TD to earn all-district honors as junior in '94 . . . selected for Texas-Oklahoma Oil Bowl and Texas-California Shrine Classic all-star games . . . younger of two brothers . . . cousin Tony Blevins played football at Kansas . . . born 1-3-79 in Rockford, Ill. . . . full name is Michael Joseph Gandy . . . earned 3.125 grade-point average in '99 fall semester and 3.125 again in 2000 spring semester . . . received his degree in May 2000 from College of Arts and Letters with majors in sociology and computer applications . . . took additional business courses during 2000 fall semester.