Linebacker Brandon Hoyte was my favorite Notre Dame Fighting Irish player of the Tyrone Willingham era. I have five incontrovertible reasons why the 6-foot, 236 pound linebacker was the best:
- Brandon grew up in New Jersey. I grew up in New Jersey.
- Brandon lived in Dillon Hall. I lived in Dillon Hall. (It’s all right to be jealous.)
- Brandon ran Bullwinkle’s, Dillon Hall’s hole-in-the-wall fast-food establishment. I ran Bullwinkle’s before him. (I probably ran into the ground. Someone better call Eric Saul about that.)
- Brandon lived on the first floor of Dillon Hall kind of across the hall from me. One time he knocked on my door and, with a sheepish grin on his face, asked me for a condom. He was a freshman. I was a senior. This was good because: a) Brandon was getting laid. Good for him. b) Brandon knew I was getting laid. Good for me. c) Brandon was practicing safe sex. Good for him again. (I think DuLac’s statue of limitations has run out, so I’m pretty sure they can’t retroactively take away our degrees for having sex outside marriage.)
- Brandon played in all 48 games in his four-year career, which actually included parts of Bob Davie’s and Charlie Weis’ tenures. He recorded 297 tackles, of which 182 were solo efforts and 115 were assists. He had 36 tackles-for-loss, 12 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 6 forced fumbles, 6 pass breakups and 2 quarterback hurries.
Hoyte’s LinkedIn page says he holds two positions: president of the sports division of Phelan + Phelan, a New Jersey-based public relations firm, and founder and CEO of Off Campus Solutions, LLC, which may just be the house rental in South Bend he’s had since his junior year in college.
Wherever Hoyte is now, whether it be New Jersey or Chicago or South Bend, I hope he’s successful and still practicing safe sex (unless he’s married. Then go wild, man!).