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Some Of The Best Notre Dame Football Players From The Holtz Era That No One Talks About (Much)

Okay, okay... so people talk about these guys. But, it takes longer than it should.

Ohio State v Notre Dame

I asked the question the other day, “who is your favorite Notre Dame Fighting Irish football player from the Holtz era?”

It’s a daunting task if you really sit down and think about it- but that’s the thing about “favorites,” you don’t have to think about it- you merely need to react, and that answer is almost always correct.

Like you, I immediately answered my own question and instantly had a name in mind for offense and for defense. Unlike many of your though, my names didn’t include:

  • Jerome Bettis
  • Rocket Ismail
  • Tony Rice
  • Michael Stonebreaker
  • Chris Zorich
  • Tim Brown

That’s a great list. A list of greats that should have no argument.

Here’s the thing though... the list of possibilities is quite vast because of the great teams, and of course the greatness of Lou Holtz.


Here’s a list of names that I think need to be brought up more often when we talk about Notre Dame football in the Lou Holtz era:

  • Bobby Taylor
  • Anthony Johnson
  • Rodney Culver
  • Lyron Cobbins
  • Andy Heck
  • Ray Zellars
  • Jeff Alm
  • Aaron Taylor
  • Bryant Young

As silly as that list looks (and that’s a very small portion), many people gloss right over a lot of those players to talk about the ones previously given. I talk about Irish football quite a bit, and it always amazes me that those names (and more) seem to get lost on the tongue.

Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe you have a garage that is postered with nothing but Derek Brown, Mirko Jurkovic, and Frank Stams memorabilia. Maybe you can’t get enough of the Lou Holtz era because you 1988 everyday bro.


I’m just saying that with such a deep roster of talent year in and year out with Lou, it’s easy to forget about players that would have been absolutely legendary in other eras. So, have your favorite for sure (and don’t forget to kiss that Rocket Ismail helmet each night before bed), but don’t forget to throw in other greats in the process.