Rudy Ruettiger, a former Notre Dame Fighting Irish walk-on whose brief career was dramatized by Hollywood, was baptized Saturday into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Yes, Rudy - who attended Joliet Catholic High School - is now a Mormon.
James Clarke, a friend of Ruettiger’s, said the former Irish player started inquiring about the principles of the LDS church following a meet-up during the 2013 BYU game in South Bend.
Ruettiger also attended a “fireside” on the night before the Irish’s 23-13 win. Bronco Mendenhall, who was, until last year, the head coach of the BYU Cougars, hosted the event.
In his first year as BYU’s leading man, Mendenhall started a new tradition. On the night before Cougar road games, the team would visit with local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints members. Mendenhall dubbed them “firesides,” a 60-minute period when players would speak, sing and interact all in the name of faith.
The inaugural event — in Albuquerque on Oct. 7, 2005, prior to BYU’s clash with New Mexico — drew 13 visitors.
The baptism took place near Highland, Utah. Ruettiger, 68, is now living in Las Vegas and continues to work as a motivational speaker, according to the Deseret News.
Congratulations, Brother Rudy. May you stay onsides with the leaders of your new church.
To commemorate the 125th season of Notre Dame football, Notre Dame Fighting Irish Media did a vignette on Ruettiger’s sole game experience - one play. Check it out below: