This week, we’re taking a look at our favorite players from the Ty Willingham era. Even though Ty was an overall terrible head coach, there were definitely some studs that played for him in his 3 years. Some were his players that succeeded under Weis, and some were recruited by Davie that came on the scene later. My favorite player is one of those Davie guys that had a breakout year with Ty. Because of that breakout year, that is why I include him on this.
Arnaz Battle was a wide receiver that had 5 years with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He actually was recruited and started off as a quarterback, but switched to wide receiver and kick returner for the 2001 and 2002 seasons. He actually didn’t have too many years of filling the stat sheets, having only 1 major season. He was a presence at QB and in the backfield, but he really broke out during that 1 season at WR when he had over 1000 all-purpose yards.
Why should you remember Arnaz Battle? Well, he only had 6 career TDs, but he had 2 of the most memorable ones for me as a young fan. See, 2002 was really the first full season that I watched for the Fighting Irish. That was the beginning of my true and passionate fandom. Arnaz gave me 2 great memories:
This one, to beat MSU, when it seemed all hope was lost:
These calls from Brent Musberger and then the great Tony Roberts are just unmatched...Holy Rudy, you definitely can’t beat that!
And also this one, helping us realize Arnaz was a road warrior:
That mocking tomahawk chop is the absolute best. Also the first play from scrimmage too, which helped spark the team to win.
Thank you, Arnaz, for your memories, and for probably making me realize my favorite number was 3.