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    Five Irish Players Sign NFL Free-Agent Contracts

    FIGHTING IRISH Carlo Calabrese
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Carlo Calabrese
    FIGHTING IRISH

    May 14, 2014

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Five former University of Notre Dame football players that went undrafted signed contracts with NFL teams this past weekend, including quarterback Tommy Rees (Washington Redskins), linebackers Dan Fox (New York Giants) and Carlo Calabrese (Cleveland Browns), defensive lineman Kona Schwenke (Kansas City Chiefs) and running back George Atkinson III (Oakland Raiders). Mike Golic Jr., a 2012 graduate, also signed a free-agent contract with the New Orleans Saints.

    Rees went 23-8 (.742) as the Irish starting quarterback over his career. His 23 victories as the starting signal caller are the seventh-most in school history. Rees threw for 61 career touchdowns and 7,670 yards. Only one quarterback has ever collected more touchdown passes, while just two have thrown for more yards.

    Rees threw for 3,257 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2013. He became the third signal caller in school history to eclipse the 3,000-yard passing mark in a season and only two other Notre Dame quarterbacks registered more touchdown passes in a single year. Rees ranked 11th in the FBS in passing yards per completion (14.54), 19th in passing touchdowns (27), 24th in passing yards (3,257), 30th in passing yards/game (250.4), t-35th in point responsibility (162) and t-45th in point responsibility/game (12.5). He recorded 19 completions of at least 32 yards in 2013. Irish quarterbacks recorded 11 such completions in 2012.

    Fox played in all 52 games over his career and started 32. He registered 226 career tackles, 9.5 for loss, seven passes defended, three sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

     

     

    Fox played in all 13 games in 2013 and started 10. He led the Irish in total tackles (95), solo stops (tied, 44) and assisted tackles (51). Fox registered five tackles for loss, four passes defended, two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, one sack and one fumble recovery. His interception return for touchdown helped seal the victory over Arizona State (Oct. 5). Fox closed the regular season with a career-best 15 tackles against Stanford (Nov. 30).

    Calabrese played in 49 games over his career and started 26. He registered 239 career tackles (most of any player at the conclusion of the 2013 season), 14.5 for loss, four passes defended, four sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

    Calabrese started all 13 games in 2013. He ranked second on the Irish in total tackles (93), tied for the team lead in solo stops (44) and ranked second in assisted tackles (49). Calabrese added 5.5 tackles for loss, one pass breakup and one fumble recovery. He tied a career-high total of 10 tackles against Oklahoma (Sept. 28).

    Schwenke played in 31 games and started nine over his career. He registered 30 career tackles, 1.5 for loss, one sack and one fumble recovery.

    Schwenke played in 12 games and started seven in 2013. Following the injuries to fellow defensive lineman Louis Nix III and Sheldon Day, Schwenke collected 23 tackles and half a sack along the way. He registered a career-best 11 stops against Navy before suffering an injury late in the contest.

    Atkinson III played in 37 career games for the Irish and started seven. He finished as the school's all-time leader in kickoff returns (88), kickoff return yards (2,136) and kick/punt return yards (2,136). Atkinson III also holds single-season records in kickoff return yards (915, 2011), most kickoff return touchdowns (tied, 2, 2011) and kick/punt return yards (915, 2011). He also ended his career ranked sixth in career rush yards per carry (6.16). Atkinson III ran for 943 career yards and totaled 10 rushing touchdowns, including four of at least 40 yards. He added 10 receptions for 65 yards. In all, Atkinson III registered 3,144 all-purpose yards.

    Atkinson III played in 12 games and started three in 2013. He ran for a career-best 555 yards on 93 carries - good for 6.0 yards/carry. Atkinson III collected three rushing touchdowns, including an 80-yard run against Oklahoma (Sept. 28). He set a career high for rushing yards in a game with 148 yards vs. the Sooners.

    REES' PLACE IN THE IRISH RECORD BOOKS

  • Single-Game Passes Without an INT (Dec. 28, 2013 vs. Rutgers, 47, 1st)
  • Single-Game Consecutive Completions (Nov. 12, 2011 vs. Maryland, 14, t-1st)
  • Single-Game Total Yards/Attempt (Aug. 31, 2013 vs. Temple, 14.2, 2nd)
  • Single-Game Pass Completions (Oct. 30, 2010 vs. Tulsa, 34, 2nd)
  • Single-Game Touchdown Passes (Oct. 26, 2013 at Air Force, 5, 2nd)
  • Single-Game Yards Per Pass Attempt (Aug. 31, 2013 vs. Temple, 15.04, 3rd)
  • Single-Game Pass Attempts (Oct. 30, 2010 vs. Tulsa, 54, 6th)
  • Single-Game Touchdown Passes (Oct. 30, 2010 vs. Tulsa, 4, t-7th)
  • Single-Game Touchdown Passes (Oct. 8, 2011 vs. Air Force, 4, t-7th)
  • Single-Game Pass Attempts (Sept. 51, 2013 at Michigan, 51, t-8th)
  • Single-Game Pass Completions (Nov. 12, 2011 vs. Maryland, 30, t-9th)
  • Single-Season Consecutive Completions (2011, 14, t-1st)
  • Single-Season Completion Percentage (2011, 65.5, 2nd)
  • Single-Season 300-Yard Passing Games (2013, 5, t-2nd)
  • Single-Season Completions/Game (2011, 20.7, 4th)
  • Single-Season Pass Completions (2011, 269, 4th)
  • Single-Season Passing Yards/Game (2013, 250.5, 4th)
  • Single-Season Touchdown Passes (2013, 27, 4th)
  • Single-Season Passing Yards (2013, 3,257, 4th)
  • Single-Season Points Responsibility (2013, 162, 4th)
  • Single-Season Total Yards/Attempt (2013, 7.53, 5th)
  • Single-Season Consecutive Passes Without Interception (2011, 135, 5th)
  • Single-Season Pass Attempts (2013, 413, 5th)
  • Single-Season Total Offense Yards (2013, 3,201, 5th)
  • Single-Season Points Responsibility Per Game (2013, 12.5, 6th)
  • Single-Season Pass Attempts (2011, 411, 6th)
  • Single-Season Touchdown Passes (2011, 20, 6th)
  • Single-Season Passing Yards (2011, 2,871, 6th)
  • Single-Season Pass Completions (2013, 224, 6th)
  • Single-Season Total Offense Plays (2011, 442, 6th)
  • Single-Season Pass Attempts/Game (2013, 31.8, 6th)
  • Single-Season Pass Attempts/Game (2011, 31.6, 7th)
  • Single-Season Total Offense Yards (2011, 2,815, 7th)
  • Single-Season Completion Percentage (2010, 61.0, 7th)
  • Single-Season Total Yards/Game (2013, 246.2, 7th)
  • Single-Season Total Offense Plays (2013, 425, 7th)
  • Single-Season 300-Yard Passing Games (2011, 1, t-8th)
  • Single-Season 300-Yard Passing Games (2010, 1, t-8th)
  • Single-Season Passing Yards/Game (2011, 220.8, 9th)
  • Career Touchdown Passes (2010-13, 61, 2nd)
  • Career Completion Percentage (2010-13, 59.8, 3rd)
  • Career 300-Yard Passing Games (2010-13, 7, 3rd)
  • Career Pass Completions (2010-13, 627, 3rd)
  • Career Pass Attempts (2010-13, 1,048, 3rd)
  • Career Passing Yards (2010-13, 7,670, 3rd)
  • Career Total Offense Yards (2010, 7,543, 3rd)
  • Career Points Responsibility (2010-13, 372, 3rd)
  • Career Completions/Game (2010-13, 13.3, 4th)
  • Career Pass Attempts/Game (2010-13, 22.3, 4th)
  • Career Total Offense Plays (2010-13, 1,106, 4th)
  • Career Total Yards/Attempt (2010-13, 6.82, 5th)
  • Career Passing Yards/Game (2010-13, 163.2, 5th)
  • Career Total Yards/Game (2010-13, 160.5, 6th)
  • Career Victories as Starting Quarterback (2010-13, 23, 7th)
  • Career Efficiency Rating (2010-13, 133.5, 9th)
  • Lowest Career Interception Percentage (2010-13, 3.53, 10th)

    REES' HONORS & AWARDS

  • Notre Dame Offensive Player of the Year (2013)
  • Participated in the 2014 East-West Shrine Game
  • FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week (9.2.13)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Quarterback (9.2.13)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Quarterback (10.28.13)
  • FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week (9.16.13)
  • Notre Dame Next Man In Award (2012)

    REES' CAREER HIGHS
    Points scored: 6, Michigan, Sept. 22, 2012
    Touchdowns: 1, Michigan, Sept. 22, 2012
    Rush attempts: 5, vs. Maryland, Nov. 12, 2011; at Pittsburgh, Sept. 24, 2011
    Rush yards: 6, vs. Rutgers, Dec. 28, 2013 (2 carries); USC, Oct. 22, 2011 (1 carry); at Pittsburgh, Sept. 24, 2011 (5 carries)
    Rush TDs: 1, Michigan, Sept. 22, 2012
    Long rush: 12, Tulsa, Oct. 30, 2010
    Pass attempts: 54, Tulsa, Oct. 30, 2010
    Pass completions: 33, Tulsa, Oct. 30, 2010
    Pass yards: 346, Temple, Aug. 31, 2013
    Pass TDs: 5, at Air Force, Oct. 26, 2013
    Had intercepted: 3, at USC, Nov. 27, 2010; Tulsa, Oct. 30, 2010; Oklahoma, Sept. 28, 2013
    Long pass: 82, at Purdue, Sept. 14, 2013
    Total offense attempts: 56, Tulsa, Oct. 30, 2010 (2 rush, 54 pass)
    Total offense yards: 341, Temple, Aug. 31, 2013 (-5 rush, 346 pass)
    All-purpose yards: 6, vs. Rutgers, Dec. 28, 2013; USC, Oct 22, 2011; at Pittsburgh, Sept. 24, 2011
    Punt attempts: 1, at Wake Forest, Nov. 5, 2011; vs. Maryland, Nov. 12, 2011; at Stanford, Nov. 26, 2011
    Punt yards: 34, vs. Maryland, Nov. 12, 2011 (1 punt)
    Longest punt: 34, vs. Maryland, Nov. 12, 2011

    FOX'S HONORS & AWARDS

  • Notre Dame Nick Pietrosante Award (2013)
  • Butkus Award Watch List (2013)
  • FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week (12.2.2013)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Linebacker (10.7.2013)

    FOX'S CAREER HIGHS
    Points scored: 6, vs. Arizona State, Oct. 5, 2013
    Touchdowns: 1, vs. Arizona State, Oct. 5, 2013
    All-purpose yards: 14, vs. Arizona State, Oct. 5, 2013
    Interceptions: 1, vs. Rutgers, Dec. 28, 2013; vs. Arizona State, Oct. 5, 2013
    Long interception return: 14, vs. Arizona State, Oct. 5, 2013
    Tackles: 15, at Stanford, Nov. 30, 2013 (7-8)
    Sacks: 1.0, BYU, Nov. 23, 2013 (1-0); BYU, Oct. 20, 2012 (1-0); at Michigan, Sept. 10, 2011 (1-0)
    Tackles for loss: 2.0, BYU, Nov. 23, 2013 (2-0); at Michigan, Sept. 10, 2011 (2-0)
    Fumbles forced: 1, vs. Maryland, Nov. 12, 2011
    Fumbles recovered: 1, vs. Arizona State, Oct. 5, 2013
    Pass breakups: 1, 5 times

    CALABRESE'S HONORS & AWARDS

  • Notre Dame Father Lange Iron Cross Award (2013)
  • Butkus Award Watch List (2013)

    CALABRESE'S CAREER HIGHS
    Tackles: 10, four times
    Sacks: 1.5, at Michigan State, Sept. 18, 2010 (1-1)
    Tackles for loss: 3.5, at Boston College, Oct. 2, 2010 (3-1)
    Fumbles forced: 1, Wake Forest, Nov. 17, 2012
    Fumbles recovered: 1, Temple, Aug. 31, 2013
    Pass breakups: 1, five times

    SCHWENKE'S HONORS & AWARDS

  • Participated in the 2014 Medal of Honor College All-Star Game
  • Notre Dame Next Man In Award (2013)
  • FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week (11.4.13)

    SCHWENKE'S CAREER HIGHS
    Tackles: 11, Navy, Nov. 2, 2013 (4-7)
    Sacks: 1.5, Purdue, Sept. 8, 2012 (1-1)
    Tackles for loss: 1.5, at Stanford, Nov. 26, 2011 (1-0); vs. Navy, Sept. 1, 2012 (1-0); Purdue, Sept. 8, 2012 (1-1)
    Fumbles forced: 1, Michigan, Sept. 22, 2012
    Fumbles recovered: 1, Tulsa, Oct. 30, 2010
    Pass breakups: 2, Purdue, Sept. 8, 2012

    ATKINSON'S PLACE IN THE IRISH RECORD BOOKS

  • Single-Game Kickoff Return Yards (Oct. 22, 2011 vs. USC, 178, 3rd)
  • Single-Game Kickoff Returns (Nov. 30, 2013 at Stanford, 6, t-3rd)
  • Single-Game Average Per Rush (Oct. 6, 2012 vs. Miami, Fla., 12.3, 6th)
  • Single-Season Kickoff Return Yards (2011, 915, 1st)
  • Single-Season Kickoff/Punt Return Yards (2011, 915, 1st)
  • Single-Season Kickoff Return Touchdowns (2011, 2, t-1st)
  • Single-Season Kickoff Returns (2011, 35, 2nd)
  • Single-Season Kickoff Return Yards (2013, 780, 3rd)
  • Single-Season Kickoff Returns (2013, 31, 4th)
  • Single-Season Kickoff/Punt Return Yards (2013, 780, 6th)
  • Career Kickoff Returns (2011-13, 88, 1st)
  • Career Kickoff Return Yards (2011-13, 2,136, 1st)
  • Career Kickoff/Punt Return Yards (2011-13, 2,136, 1st)
  • Career Average Per Rush (2011-13, 6.16, 6th)

    ATKINSON'S HONORS & AWARDS

  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Kick Returner (9.16.2013)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Running Back (9.30.2013)

    ATKINSON'S CAREER HIGHS
    Points scored: 12, vs. Navy, Sept. 1, 2012
    Touchdowns: 12, vs. Navy, Sept. 1, 2012
    Rush attempts: 18, vs. Arizona State, Oct. 5, 2013
    Rush yards: 148, Oklahoma, Sept. 28, 2013 (14 carries)
    Rush TDs: 2, vs. Navy, Sept. 1, 2012
    Long rush: 80, Oklahoma, Sept. 28, 2013
    Receptions: 2, Michigan State, Sept. 21, 2013
    Receiving yards: 17, Michigan State, Sept. 21, 2013 (2 receptions)
    Long reception: 16, at Michigan, Sept. 7, 2013
    Total offense attempts: 18, vs. Arizona State, Oct. 5, 2013 (18 rush, 0 pass)
    Total offense yards: 148, Oklahoma, Sept. 28, 2013 (148 rush, 0 pass)
    All-purpose yards: 187, Navy, Nov. 2, 2013
    Kick returns: 6, at Stanford, Nov. 30, 2013
    Kick return yards: 178, USC, Oct. 22, 2011 (5 returns)
    Long kick return: 96, USC, Oct. 22, 2011
    Tackles: 2, at Purdue, Oct. 1, 2011 (1-1)

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