I’m sure we all know the story of Daniel E. “Rudy” Ruettiger, at least as it’s told by director David Anspaugh. The 1993 film “Rudy”, and the story it’s based on, culminates with the titular character being carried off the field by his teammates to cheers from the crowd.
But do you recall October 21, 1995? The visiting USC Trojans were ranked fifth in the polls, but hadn’t beaten the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the last 12 contests between the schools. Though the Trojans were favored, Notre Dame prevailed behind strong efforts from Ron Powlus, Autry Denson, and my favorite player of the Lou Holtz’ era: Marc Edwards. Edwards finished the game with 82 yards on the ground and three touchdowns (and a completed pass for a two-point conversion), and the Irish won 38-10. That day, Marc Edwards became the second Notre Dame player to be carried off the field by his teammates.
Back in middle school, my seventh grade football coach said to me “Brad, what position do you want to play?” As fortune had it, the local high school football program at the time ran the triple option, much like Holtz-era teams did. Visions of Ohio-born Notre Dame football hero Marc Edwards trucking defenders en route to multiple-touchdown games ran through my mind as I replied “fullback”. After all, I used to pretend to be Marc Edwards in my youth while all of my friends pretended to be Eddie George.
Not only was Marc Edwards a tough runner and good football player, but he was a four-year monogram winner, earned his degree in business management, and was a captain his senior year. It was the sort of ideal that I would aspire to be as I grew up (we won’t talk about how short I fell).
Edwards was a second-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1997 NFL Draft. In total, Edwards spent nine seasons in the NFL, playing for the 49ers, the Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears. He was a member of the Super Bowl XXXVI champion Patriots in 2002.