IRISH EXTRA: Plantz Stars in Own Irish Passion Play

Senior walk-on earned a scholarship prior to the start of this season.


Irish Fall to #5 USC (AP photos)

Notre Dame loses on the road in its regular-season finale.

CAREER: Approved for a fifth year by Notre Dame's Faculty Board on Athletics ... special-teams stalwart has become a fan favorite due to his innate playmaking ability on kickoff and punt coverage ... starting gunner on the kickoff and punt units tallied 29 total tackles over the past two seasons in 192 special-teams appearances ... recorded two forced fumbles (one punt, one kickoff) and a fumble recovery on kickoff coverage ... named to the `08 ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America second team ... also added '08 ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District Team for District 5 ... named to 2009 Lott Award preseason watch list.

2008 (SENIOR): Played in Notre Dame's first 12 games before breaking his leg in the regular-season finale at USC ... primarily played on special teams ... prior to his injury, Notre Dame's opponents had a total of 72 returns (22 punt, 50 kickoff) on the year and he registered a tackle on 23 of those 72 opportunities ... also recorded eight multi-tackle games on the season ... against San Diego State, he had four tackles (all solo) on punt and kickoff coverage in season-opening victory ... made three tackles (two solo, one assist), forced a fumble and had a fumble recovery in his gunner roll on special teams vs. Michigan ... the fumble recovery against the Wolverines was the first of his career ... continued his success on special teams vs. Purdue by registering three tackles (solo and two assists) on the day in the win over the Boilermakers ... recorded two tackles (both solo) on special teams in the win over Stanford ... against North Carolina, added two more special-team tackles (solo, assist) ... tallied two tackles vs. Washington on special teams ... also logged minutes defensively and added a pass breakup against the Huskies ... against Navy, he recorded two more tackles (solo, assist) on special teams ... also blocked a punt that resulted in a Toryan Smith return for a touchdown vs. the Midshipmen ... had another spectacular day vs. Syracuse, totaling three tackles (solo, two assists) while also partially blocking a punt ... also forced his second fumble of the season against the Orange ... registered his team-best 23rd special-teams tackle on Notre Dame's first punt vs. USC, but was lost for the remainder of the season after breaking his leg ... logged 4:09 of playing time with 121 special-teams appearances.

2007 (JUNIOR): Played in eight games as a gunner on the punt coverage team ... started the season on the scout team and was promoted to the first team after routinely winning battles in practice against Notre Dame's first-team punt return unit ... totaled six tackles on the season ... in his first game for the Irish, made a tackle on punt coverage at Michigan ... tackle at Michigan occurred on his second play in an Irish uniform ... tied a season-high with two tackles vs USC ... credited with two solo tackles at Stanford in the season finale ... made 71 special-teams appearances.

2006 (SOPHOMORE): Made the team as a walk-on player but did not see game action.

HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Played football for coach Marty Balle at Sandburg High School ... also participated in wrestling in high school ... named Illinois Scholastic Wrestler of the Year as a senior ... lauded as Sandburg High School male athlete of the year and student-athlete of the year following senior year ... served as captain of the football team as a senior ... son of Andrew and Sue Anello ... born Jan. 20, 1987 ... graduated in December 2008 with a finance degree from Mendoza College of Business ... finished his undergraduate career with a 3.937 cumulative grade-point average ... tallied a 4.0 GPA during the fall `08 semester ... currently enrolled in graduate studies program.

Anello's Career Statistics

Tackles Fumbles
Did Not Play
2007 8-0 6 4 2 0.0-0 0 0 0 0-0 0 0-0
2008 12-0 23 15 8 0.0-0 0 0 2 1-0 1 0-0
Totals 20-0 29 19 10 0.0-0 0 0 2 1-0 1 0-0

Mike Anello
Mike  Anello


Orland Park, IL

High School:
Carl Sandburg

Height / Weight:
5-10 / 180



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