One of four Notre Dame captains for 2001 ... became a rare two-time captain for the Irish (13th in history), a role last held by Ron Powlus in 1996-97 ... a 2001 preseason second-team All-America pick by Street & Smith's ... rated 10th among defensive ends by The Sporting News in 2001 preseason position ratings - and 15th by Lindy's ... among defensive ends coming into '00, ranked 15th nationally by The Sporting News and 16th by Lindy's ... named to preseason All-Independent teams by The Sporting News and Football News ... acted as president of Student-Athlete Advisory Council ... signed a free agent contract with the Buffalo Bills.
AS A SENIOR: Fifth-year senior returned to Irish starting lineup to begin 2001 after shoulder surgery forced him to miss most of last season ... one of four Irish captains for 2001 season and only 13th two-time captain in Notre Dame history ... Street & Smith's preseason second-team All-American ... ranked 10th nationally among defensive ends by The Sporting News and 15th by Lindy's ... named to Football News preseason all-independent team ... started first three games of '01 at end ... recorded three tackles including one sack vs. Michigan StateSdid not play vs. Pittsburgh due to a sprained ankle. . .returned to Irish lineup in reserve role vs. West Virginia ... had two tackles including one for loss against USC ... had best game of the season vs. Boston College with first career interceptionSrecorded three tackles in a starting role vs. Navy ... started again vs. Stanford and recorded three tackles and a fumble recoverySstarted and recorded three tackles vs. Purdue.
AS A JUNIOR: Irish starter at left defensive end in '99 ... started first 10 games at that spot before suffering broken leg ... cracked left fibula showed up in X-rays following Boston College game ... had arthroscopic knee surgery performed the week of Notre Dame's '99 regular-season finale at Stanford ... shared team lead in sacks in '99 with four ... made three tackles and a sack vs. Oklahoma ... had six tackles and a forced fumble vs. Arizona State ... recorded six tackles vs. USC ... notched 100th career tackle against the Sun Devils ... had six tackles and a sack vs. Tennessee ... had 11-yard sack vs. Pittsburgh.
AS A SOPHOMORE: Irish starter at rush outside linebacker spot in first five games in '98 ... missed three late-season games with shoulder injury, then played off the bench in final four contests (including 1999 Gator Bowl vs. Georgia Tech) while working with Lamont Bryant ... played in nine games overall, with those five starts ... recovered a fumble vs. Michigan to set up a Notre Dame touchdown and also had a sack ... had six tackles vs. Michigan State ... forced a fourth-period fumble vs. Arizona State and added eight tackles ... sat out Army , Baylor and Boston College games with shoulder injury ... returned to play off the bench vs. Navy, forcing a fumble and making five stops ... played reserve role in '99 Gator Bowl vs. Georgia Tech.
AS A FRESHMAN: One of six rookies to earn a monogram in '97 ... played in all 13 games in 97, starting vs. Michigan State, Michigan and Stanford in early-season injury absence of Bobbie Howard ... played more minutes in '97 than any other freshman on defense ... made first career start at inside linebacker vs. Michigan State and had eight tackles and broke up a pass ... started again vs. Michigan and made six stops ... shared tackle lead vs. Stanford with 12 in starting assignment ... came off the bench to make seven stops vs. Pittsburgh after injury to Ronnie Nicks ... had eight tackles vs. Hawaii ... played off the bench in '97 Independence Bowl vs. LSU . . . made 41 regular-season special team appearances.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: USA Today first-team All-American as a prep senior in '96 ... also selected to Reebok prep All-America team ... named national player of the year by Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio) ... named to Scholastic Coach All-America team of 101 players ... received national Dial Scholar-Athlete Award thanks to 3.87 grade-point average, as top male scholar-athlete in the country ... award was presented by past recipient Tiger Woods ... received Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Trophy, presented by the National Alliance of African-American Athletes, as top male African-American high school scholar-athlete in the country ... rated 39th nationally among defensive prospects by The Sporting News ... ranked as 15th best prospect nationally by Chicago Sun-Times ... earned four letters as inside linebacker at The Woodlands High School in The Woodlands, Texas ... made 92 tackles, 58 of them solos, as senior in '96, plus 12 tackles for losses, six passes broken up and two fumble recoveries, despite missing two and a half games with knee injury ... led team in tackles each of his last three seasons ... three-time all-district and all-county pick ... captain of team as senior ... three-time first-team all-district in baseball as first baseman ... elected senior class president ... brother of former Michigan All-America linebacker and captain Jarrett Irons, who was a senior in '96 ... another brother Gerald, Jr., played football at Nebraska as lineman ... father Gerald, Sr., played at Maryland-Eastern Shore, then spent six years with NFL Oakland Raiders and four with Cleveland Browns as linebacker ... several members of his family live in Gary, Ind ... born 7-7-79 in Middleburg Heights, Ohio ... youngest of three children ... full name is Grant Michael Irons ... member of University's Student-Athlete Advisory Council ... graduated in May 2001 from Mendoza College of Business, with major in management information systems.
Iron's Career Statistics