Game-winning score from Hughes, career days for Clausen and Tate and defensive stands key the Irish victory.
CAREER: One of top tight ends in nation despite only being a junior ... combines great size and strength with deceptive speed and tremendous ball skills when attempting to snatch football out of air ... only sophomore named 2009 John Mackey Award semifinalist ... of eight Mackey Award semifinalists, only Rudolph returns in 2010 ... caught 62 passes for 704 yards with five touchdowns in his career ... has started 22 of 23 career games played ... established freshman receiving records at Notre Dame and became first tight end in Irish history to start every game in first season ... had surgery on shoulder in offseason and was somewhat limited in spring practice.
2009 (SOPHOMORE): Participated in 10 games for Irish (did not play against Pittsburgh and Connecticut due to shoulder injury) ... started nine of those contests (did not start at Stanford) ... named semifinalist for John Mackey Award and was only sophomore to be named semifinalist ... ranked third on team in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, totaling 33 receptions for 364 yards and three touchdowns ... 17 of his 33 catches resulted in first downs ... hauled in four catches for 29 yards and a TD in opener against Nevada ... set career high with 95 receiving yards against Michigan State including career-long 52-yard reception ... named John Mackey Tight End of the Week following performance against Spartans ... nabbed TD catches in back-to-back weeks against Purdue and Washington ... his TD reception at Purdue occurred with 24 seconds remaining in game on fourth and goal to give Notre Dame 24-21 lead ... TD reception against Washington came with less than two minutes remaining in regulation and gave Irish a lead ... registered six catches (career high) against both Michigan State and Washington State ... averaged better than 10.0 yards a catch in five games (Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Washington, Boston College) ... voted by his teammates to represent tight ends on the Irish Leadership Committee ... totaled 275:59 of playing time and made 57 special-teams appearances.
2008 (FRESHMAN): Started all 13 games for the Irish ... hauled in 29 catches for 340 yards (11.7 avg.) and two touchdowns during rookie campaign ... made his career debut in season opener vs. San Diego State and brought in his first career reception for five yards during the victory ... became the first freshman to ever start a season opener at tight end for Notre Dame ... posted his first multi-reception game (two catches for 29 yards) against Michigan State ... both catches were for 10-plus yards and resulted in first downs against the Spartans ... set then career-highs in receptions (three), receiving yards (32) and longest catch (19), while also recording the first touchdown catch of his career in win over Purdue ... two of three receptions were for first downs, while the other went for a touchdown on a first and goal play against the Boilers ... registered a career-high five receptions and then career-highs in yards (70) and long reception (29 yards) vs. Stanford ... added his second career touchdown vs. the Cardinal ... hauled in two catches for 26 yards against Pittsburgh ... set a new school record for pass receptions by a freshmen tight end in a single season during the game against the Panthers ... made his 11th career start and recorded three catches for 29 yards (9.7 avg.) against Syracuse ... established a school record for single-season receiving yards by a freshman tight end during game against the Orange ... caught four passes for a career-high 78 yards in Hawai'i Bowl victory ... had a 29-yard reception against the Warriors to set a career-best long reception.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Chosen to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio ... named first-team All-American by USA Today after totaling 37 catches for 673 yards (18.2 yards per catch) and 11 touchdowns as a senior ... placed on the Scout.com All-America first team ... lone tight end among the 11 finalists for the high school Maxwell Award ... one of five future Irish players placed on the EA Sports All-America third team ... named the second-best player and top tight end in the Detroit Free Press' Best of the Midwest Top 20 list ... considered the No. 1 tight end in the recruiting class by Tom Lemming/CSTV, Rivals.com and Scout.com ... rated by Lemming/CSTV and Rivals.com as the 20th-best prospect in the nation ... ranked 21st in the country and No. 2 in Ohio by Scout.com ... considered the 23rd-best player by Sports Illustrated/TAKKLE.com ... No. 105 on the ESPN 150 list ... received first-team all-Southwest Ohio as a senior after being named second team as a junior ... named second-team all-state by the Associated Press following his senior year ... caught four passes for 57 yards including two touchdowns to help Elder defeat Charlotte (N.C.) Independence, 41-34 in overtime, to end Independence's 109-game winning streak (at the time, Independence was ranked No. 3 in the nation) ... gained 111 yards receiving and a touchdown to help the Panthers knock off Moeller ... caught five passes for 120 yards and three TDs in Elder's 49-34 victory over Cleveland Benedictine ... helped lead team to the playoffs where they lost in the first round to the eventual state champions ... as a junior, caught 30 passes for 400 yards and seven TDs en route to earning first-team all-city and all-conference honors ... an accomplished basketball player who played center for his high school team and was the conference player of the year three times and all-Southwest Ohio in 2007 ... is the second-leading scorer in school history and became just the second Panther to surpass 1,000 career points ... set the school record for most career rebounds when he corralled his 568th rebound on Jan. 11, 2008 ... against Moeller (No. 1 in Ohio, No. 9 in the nation) on Jan. 25, 2008, scored 25 of Elder's 52 points as the Panthers almost upset the top-ranked team in Ohio, 58-52 ... played for coach Doug Ramsey at Elder ... born Nov. 9, 1989 ... member of National Honor Society ... son of Dan and Jamie Rudolph ... oldest of three children ... enrolled in Mendoza College of Business, majoring in management-consulting.