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Notre Dame Football: Jersey Number Countdown - 2

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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 2(!!!) days away from kickoff between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Temple Owls, so here are your 2s.

Tom Clements - QB - 1972-74

Clements quarterbacked Notre Dame to their ninth National Title in 1973, knocking off the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl. In that game he made perhaps one of the greatest (and gutsiest) passes in Notre Dame history. It was late in the fourth quarter and the Irish were leading 24-23, and they were backed up right against their goal line on 3rd and 9. Instead of running it to grind some clock and give Alabama the ball back. Ara Parseghian relied on his junior quarterback to seal the game. Notre Dame came out and ran a play action fake from their own goal line. Clements threw an absolute dime to Robin Weber to seal the Tide’s fate.

Clements would go on to have a long career in the Canadian Football League. He played 12 seasons in the CFL, winning the Grey Cup in 1976 and 1984, winning in ‘76 with the Ottawa Rough Riders and in ‘84 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Interestingly enough, Clements was also named the CFL MVP in his last year playing in 1987.

He then got into coaching where he’s had various assistant jobs with Notre Dame, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers and currently with the Green Bay Packers. Clements has been credited for the develop of MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

In 2005 when Notre Dame was making their head coaching hire, Clements was one of the names they reportedly were interested in. As we all know they went in a different direction.

Kinnon Tatum - LB - 1993-96

He wasn’t an All-American or a top draft choice, but I had to put Tatum on her for one reason. While I wasn’t really conscious at the time, Tatum is the man behind my favorite hit in Notre Dame history. The Irish were ranked 17th, USC was ranked 5th when they made their trip to South Bend. The Trojans had Keyshawn Johnson and were favored to win the game. Tatum delivered a hit that really set the tone for the day. I’ll let the tape above do the talking.

Reggie Ho - K - 1987-88

Without Reggie Ho, Notre Dame probably doesn’t win the National Title in 1988. In the first game of the season the Irish took on No. 9 Michigan. Ho provided most of the offense that night as he drilled four field goals, including the game winner. The only Notre Dame touchdown came on an 81-yard punt return by Ricky Watters.

A few years back ESPN did a feature on Ho that was directed by the actor Ken Jeong. Ho’s story is one of the better ones. He worked so hard to make the team as a walk on, and he turned out to be one of the reasons Notre Dame was the National Champion in 1988. As Tony Rice puts it, Ho was a better story than Rudy.

He’s now a cardiologist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.