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One Foot Down's Tribute to the Seniors

As the 2012 season nears the conclusion of the regular season, we have arrived at the final home football game of the season. Where did all the time go?


Months of preparation for the season and years of hard work and dedication culminate in one final glorious fall Saturday afternoon in South Bend, where 29 seniors will hit the PLACT sign and emerge from the tunnel one final time as members of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team.

This senior class will hold a special place in the hearts of fans for a long time to come. This class represents more than shoe-in All-Americans, award winners and future NFL stars. This class will be remembered for climbing that mountain that we call adversity, its track littered with trials, tribulations and coaching changes. This class chose to buy into what the new staff was selling and go on an unforeseen an unlikely run towards a National Championship.

It has been a fun ride, and one that students, alum, fans and the players themselves won't soon forget.

At One Foot Down, we wanted to take the time to recognize these young men for what they have given us over the past four (or sometimes five) years. A few are likely to return for another year, but most will go on to the professional ranks or life after football. If you follow @OneFootDown on Twitter, you probably have seen these tweets go out over the week as a small tribute to this group of seniors.

Feel free to share your own, whether it be in the form of a tweet (the 140 character limit will be strictly enforced), haiku or hyperbole. Bonus points will be awarded for epic poems, but deducted for anything approaching Murtaughian length.

To you, our loyal readers, we humbly present:

5th Year Seniors

15 S Dan McCarthy:

Unfortunately for @DannyMac15, the injury bug bit far too often. Thanks for leading all those special team units. #McCarthyBrothersRule

26 S Jamoris Slaughter:

@J_Slaughter26 His career cut too short but always a great playmaker. His son Santana said to be early ND commit #Slaughterhouse

52 C Braxton Cave:

I don't know what @BraxstonCave52 is more well-known for - being an awesome center for three years or his mom's burritos. #KneeDeepInBurrito

57 G Mike Golic Jr:

@MGolicJR57 played in a pinch last year but has never looked back, got up to 300 lbs to key the rushing attack #AllTheGolics #FutureTVHost?

81 WR John Goodman:

WR @jgoodman81, aka Goody: clutch on the field & beloved in the locker room. Not a lot of catches, but crucial ones. #greatcatchGoodman #TSM

89 DE Kapron Lewis-Moore:

@KLM_89 is a 5th yr Sr that has developed into a beast for the best front 7 in CFB this year. #BeastMode #BeardGang #ScaryVoice #Texasforever

Seniors Out of Eligibility

5 LB Manti Te'o:

If the ND ship is righted for good, Te'o'll be the guy who took us there. A ceratin trophy in NYC would be a deserving finale. #HeisManti

6 RB Theo Riddick:

@Riddick6 has defined "skill" during his 4 yrs at ND. RB, WR, he's got this. #Riddickulous #Linehimupanywhere

9 WR Robby Toma:

A "throw in" for Te'o? Malarkey! More like one of ND's most reliable hands over the last four years. Check your watch 'cause it's #TomaTime

17 S Zeke Motta:

From bad angles to blow-your-face-off big hits to an NFL ready safety, Motta has come a long way in a short time. Welcome to the #GunShow

24 S Chris Salvi:

Sr. S Chris Salvi walked on, earned a scholarship with his fierce ST play, & boxed for the '12 Bengal Bouts win (188lb). #32gamesandcounting

35 P Ben Turk:

@BTurk35 punted for all 4 years, sometimes looking like rugby, but he will always hold school bench press record for punters #400lbs

60 LS Jordan Cowart:

LS Cowart played a strong, thankless role & will be long known for gettin' chippy one victorious night in W. Lafayette. #heisthelongsnapper

Seniors with 5Th Year Eligibility

20 RB Cierre Wood:

@stadium20status brought the swag and home run ability back to the Bend. Best mouth guard in the country too. #PlayOnPlaya #PleaseDon'tGo

40 K Nick Tausch:

@NTausch40 started his Irish career by setting the consecutive FGM mark. Sidelined in ‘12 by injury, we'll be sad to see you go #automatic

44 LB Carlo Calabrese:

@Carlo44Cal has people. This fall we found out he really meant the rest of the ND front 7. Back for a 5th? #Ihavepeople #BeardGang

48 LB Dan Fox:

@DPFoxy has wreaked havoc this fall with his linebacking buddies Dog, Cat and #HeisManti. Here is to one more season in '13 #keepthehair

66 G Chris Watt:

@CWatt66 has helped anchor the left side with ZMa over the past two seasons. We would love to see the 3rd act #roadgrader #runtheballkelly

70 T Zach Martin:

@thegob70 has been the anchor of the left side of the line for three years. Let's make it four. #onemoreyear #blindside

80 TE Tyler Eifert:

@EiferTy80 has been yet another dominant ND TE that will play on Sundays. Fasano, Carlson, Rudolph, Eifert. #Goodcompany #Missthehair

88 TE Jake Golic:

@JGolic88 suffered some injuries but kept on keeping on. The hair and No. 88 jersey was a great combination. #TightEndU #Family

92 NG Tyler Stockton:

The team comedian, T-Stock, didn't see the field much over his 4 years, but he'll always have the legacy of #TrickShotMonday

Walk-on Seniors

62 OL Matt Tansey:

OL Matt Tansey makes the nation's best front 7 better. After this year, the NROTC stud starts his career as a Naval Officer. #ND @WOPUnation

71 OT Dennis Mahoney:

OT Dennis Mahoney locks horns with the best front 7 in the country every day. After graduation, law school plans. #NDvsAF2011 @WOPUnation

38 WR Nick Fitzpatrick:

Who plays Denard for the ND scout team? Walk-on WR Nick Fitzpatrick. Caught Kiel's 1st pass in ND Stadium. Contributing to 10-0. @WOPUnation

54 LB Kevin Walsh:

Walk-on LB Kevin Walsh of Bettendorf, IA, has been working hard all season long to challenge the OL and help develop the other #5 @WOPUnation

36 CB Will Salvi:

CB Will Salvi, who showed off his skills in the Blue-Gold Game, plays alongside brother & once fellow walk-on S Chris. #NDfamily @WOPUnation

63 DE Grant Patton:

DE Grant Patton, 6'6" transfer from Holy Cross & marketing major, walked on this spring. He pushes our OL to be better all week. @WOPUnation

49 S Blake Breslau:

S Blake Breslau, a biology major, mans the defensive backfield against the Irish offense each week. He saw the field vs. Miami. @WOPUnation