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Notre Dame Football: Jersey Number Countdown - 15

A pretty solid group for 15

Bobby Norell

If you follow me on Twitter, which a good number of you probably don’t, you know that for the last few weeks I’ve been posting photos of old and current ND players in countdown to the first game. Today we are officially 15 days away from kickoff between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Temple Owls, so here are your 15s...after rough days of 17s and 16s, a much better group today.

Kevin McDougal - QB - 1990-93

Out of all the quarterbacks to lead Notre Dame to great seasons, McDougal might be the most unheralded. Backing up Rick Mirer for the three seasons prior to the 1993 season, McDougal looked to be spending his final season South Bend with a clipboard in his hand.

However in 1993 incoming freshman Ron Powlus, who was given the starting nod over McDougal, broke his collarbone in fall camp and McDougal was thrust into the starting spot. It paid dividends as the Irish marched to an 11-1 record with wins over No. 2 Michigan and No. 1 Florida State. The Irish arguably should have be crowned National Champs. McDougal finished his career with a .622 completion percentage, which is the all-time Notre Dame record.

Pat Terrell - DB - 1986-89

There could be an argument that Terrell is the best 15 in Notre Dame history. Moreover, it could also be argued that Terrell made the greatest defensive play the history of Notre Dame football.

He took a long and winding road to get there though. Terrell initially came to Notre Dame as a wide receiver, but a case of a drops led him to Notre Dame’s secondary. If you saw the 30 for 30 “Catholics vs. Convicts” last year, he actually told the story of how he became a DB. He also tells it in the video below.

Terrell is most remembered for his heroics in the 1988 Notre Dame - Miami game. He first picked off Steve Walsh and returned it to the house for a touchdown. His next play turned out to be bigger, as he batted away Walsh’s two-point conversion attempt to preserve the Irish victory over No. 1 Miami.

After Notre Dame Terrell had a lengthy, nine-year career in the NFL. Drafted in the second round of the 1990 NFL Draft, Terrell spent four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, one season with the New York Jets, three years with the Carolina Panthers and finished up with the Green Bay Packers.

Allen Rossum - CB - 1994-97

Next to Rocket Ismail, Rossum might be the fastest guy to play for the Irish in recent memory. He was a great punt returner, in fact he hold the Notre Dame career and single-season records in punt return average. Rossum is second all-time in career kickoff return average. Lastly, he’s tied atop the lists for career and single-season punt returns for touchdowns.

One highlight of Rossum’s Notre Dame career came in 1997. That season Rossum helped preserve Notre Dame’s long winning streak over Navy with a game saving tackle at the one yard line.

Rossum went on to have a great NFL career, playing parts of 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. He was a Pro-Bowler in 2004 and was named Punt Returner of the Year in 2003. He retired as the Falcons all-time leader in punt and kickoff return yards, and is also a member of the 15,000 all-purpose yards club.

Honorable Mention

Will Fuller - WR - 2013-15

People forget that Fuller wore 15 as a freshman in 2013, and perhaps thats the reason he now wears 15 for the Houston Texans. I couldn’t put him on here, but I have a feeling he’ll have his day soon.