Notre Dame Fighting Irish kicker Jonathan Doerer, quarterback Jack Coan, and defensive lineman Kurt Hinish met with journalists Tuesday following the team’s victory against the Virginia Cavaliers and ahead of Saturday’s matchup against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. All three players are preparing for their final home game. The players talked about leadership, growth, and vomit.
On what he would like his legacy to be in the context of the Irish football program as a whole, Doerer said, “That’s not up for me to decide. I’m just blessed to have been able to come and play here. I’ve really enjoyed playing here and getting to know all of the guys… being able to be developed at this place and become a whole person at this place.”
Comparing the kicker’s experience in Notre Dame Stadium to that of other stadiums, he said, “Little bit. Little more elements here. Probably windier than your average stadium here… it’s cold here… I’m used to it now.”
On staying level through his own highs and lows of his play this season, Doerer said, “It’s just football. The ups and downs are part of the game. You try not to put too much energy or put too much emphasis on one particular result, because everything’s on a week-by-week basis. Every week you’re trying to be better than the week before no matter what happened. I try to enjoy the good and learn from the bad and just take it one week at a time.”
Doerer went on to address that he’s been playing through a groin injury, but that it has been improving as the season has gone on.
On how Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees helped the Irish play one step ahead of the Cavaliers, Coan said, “Coach Rees does an amazing job of preparing us, and honestly, all the coaches on the offensive staff do a great job of preparing us throughout the week. They actually did a little bit of different stuff throughout the game and I think the adjustments the coaches have made not only throughout this game but throughout the season have been pretty amazing and it just shows why they’re such successful coaches.”
On approaching his final Notre Dame home game, he said, “Just try to soak it all in… my last one at Notre Dame Stadium. It’s crazy how quick it’s gone, and it’s gonna be emotional, but do my best just fighting back those emotions and just focus on the game, but I’m definitely gonna soak it all in.”
On Georgia Tech and its shaky record, Coan said “Georgia Tech’s a great team. They have great players all over the place. We don’t need to act like they’re not good at all, because they’re an amazing team and it’s gonna take a lot to beat them and we gotta be on our A game.”
On wide receiver Lorenzo Styles and running back Logan Diggs, Coan said, “Those are just two electric players. Two guys that have worked extremely hard from the time they’ve gotten here. I’ve thrown with Lorenzo a ton since we got here in the winter and just seeing Diggs when he came here in the summer, right away we knew he was gonna be a special player… We see those guys in practice... and they finally do it on the field.”
On the evolution of the Irish defense throughout the season, Hinish said, “We’re starting to come into our own, like I said at the beginning of the year; we play fast, you make mistakes when you play fast, but we when can blend playing fast and playing assignment football, we’ll be really dangerous and that’s something that you’ve seen.”
As for his favorite memory at Notre Dame, Hinish looked back to 2020 and said, “Beating Clemson, and the fans rushing the field…” He explained struggles such as the cancellation of the Wake Forest game, teammates dealing with COVID all led up to the moment and made it more special.
On the team’s struggles last week with key players out with the flu, Hinish said, “It goes to show the leadership we have on this team beyond the captains that we have… It’s the next man up mentality…”
Explaining the threat that Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs will bring in the game ahead, Hinish said, “He’s so fast, and he’s elusive, and… he has great vision… breaks tackles really easily; you’re not gonna arm tackle this guy. Really fast coming out of the backfield… I can’t say enough about the kid. He’s a beast.”
As for where his emotions come into play in the context of the game of football, Hinish simply said, “The extent of me getting emotional before games is… I throw up before every game and I’ve been doing it for a long time.”
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