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
Iron's Career Statistics