Playing football for the University of Notre Dame is the opportunity of a lifetime. There’s no doubt about that, and even the most jaded and pessimistic fan has to admit that Notre Dame Fighting Irish football players walk away after their 3-5 years in South Bend with a first-rate education and a degree that will give them countless opportunities to have fantastic careers.
It’s actually something you’ll notice when you hear Notre Dame fans talk about why recruits should choose to attend the school: unlike all those football factories out there, Notre Dame provides a unique combination of great academics and world class athletics for an amazingly well-rounded experience that sets them up for life. “4 for 40” is the trite mantra tossed around; that is, 4 years at ND sets you up for the next 40 years of your life.
Anyone who actually believes that Notre Dame and a tiny handful of others (Stanford, Duke, etc.) are the only ones that can provide that sort of post-college-football life, though, are sadly mistaken - especially when you consider that a 4-8 season leaves these fans clinging ONLY to that argument as to how Notre Dame is special in today’s college football climate.
I came across a very interesting article from David M. Hale of ESPN.com the other day, in which he details how much Clemson, California, and USC (just as a few examples) are investing in career training programs to prepare their players for life after football.
Especially with Clemson and USC, you’re probably rolling your eyes. Those guys are a couple of the biggest football factories out there, right? They can’t offer the same types of things ND can offer aside from football, right?
Except if you look at the 2017 U.S. News and World Report rankings, you’ll see that Cal and USC land just 5 and 8 spots behind Notre Dame, respectively (and let’s be real, there’s not much difference between degrees from #s 15 and 20 and 23 in that list anyway). These are schools that absolutely offer world-class educations if the players want them, and clearly the football programs are beginning to funnel resources to providing their players with that sort of experience.
Clemson falls in at much worse 66th on the list, but pairing things like getting 7 players internships in Silicon Valley (referenced in the article) and beating Alabama in an unreal, dramatic national championship game will make up for that gap, without question. They’re clearly committed to the idea of preparing players for after football as well.
So, I think this ESPN article is just a really good reminder that Notre Dame football isn’t the only program that can offer these kids a sweet setup for life - and so it’s important Notre Dame remembers that and makes the right moves on the football side of things as well in order to keep up with the powerhouse programs who are suddenly setting their players up for life after football too.
If ND doesn’t improve the football side of things, they might soon lose any and all advantages they have over their recruiting rivals. And I would rather not see the state of the program at that point; 4-8 last season and the mediocrity we are currently sitting with is awful enough.
4th of July Tweets Led Me to Harry Hiestand’s Amazing Twitter Profile
Yesterday I noticed multiple Notre Dame coaches tweeting out the same Notre Dame/4th of July graphic to celebrate Independence Day. So, I started looking up each coach to see how many of them tweeted it out:
Happy Fourth of July to everyone and safe travels!! pic.twitter.com/eQq4EtUcBn— Mike Elston (@CoachMikeElston) July 4, 2017
Those three were unfortunately all I could find (I was really hoping Thomas Kevin Rees jumped on the Independence Day Graphic Train, but alas, he did not).
However, in looking up all of the coaches’ Twitter profiles, I did discover something even more incredible than a Tom Rees team-sanctioned 4th of July tweet: Harry Hiestand’s Twitter profile:
- Harry Hiestand has been on Twitter since April of 2013. He has NEVER TWEETED. That’s 4 years of never Tweeting. I can’t go more than 10 minutes without retweeting something dumb
- Harry Hiestand has 2,022 followers despite having NEVER TWEETED
- Harry Hiestand’s followers-to-following ratio is 2022:5. Talk about living the dream
- Harry Hiestand only follows 5 accounts: Brian Kelly, the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame Football, former ND and now UCF offensive lineman Parker Boudreaux, and 5-star 2018 OL recruit Jamaree Salyer
- Harry Hiestand has only ever liked ONE tweet - the below tweet from Parker Boudreaux, as a rising senior in high school, talking about having gotten a generic Notre Dame football jersey for $19 from Marshall’s (an admittedly great find), complete with two photos, one showing him wearing it from the front, and one showing him wearing it from the back:
Harry Hiestand has mastered how to use Twitter: never say anything (so no one thinks you’re dumb), follow almost no one (so your timeline isn’t full of garbage), and still rake in the followers because you’re awesome.
I could not be more impressed by this man (well, maybe I could if our running game looked as dominant as it should - but I don’t completely blame him for that, Brian)
Other Interesting Articles
- This opinion piece from Andy Staples of SI about what he thinks the new NCAA transfer rules should be is a great read. I like where he’s going with this, and SINCERELY hope stupid restrictions on transfers, especially graduate transfers, end immediately
- This list of ACC/Big Ten Challenge men’s basketball games for 2017, ranked by awesomeness, makes the obvious #1 selection of ND @ MSU (great choice) and picks MSU to win (less-great choice, but also more than likely accurate)