Monday, July 21, 2008

Into the Hall | by Pat

A hearty congratulations to Chris Zorich, who was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame this past weekend. The first player from the 1988 National Championship team enshrined and 42nd overall ND player, Zorich joins Ross Browner and Alan Page as the only ND defensive lineman in the Hall of Fame.

"It's amazing," Zorich said. "I mean, Ross Browner and Alan Page, are you kidding me? Now, I'm in that group. I'm considered to be one of the best to ever play. That's awesome, it's great, and it was never my intention. I never came to college to say, 'Hey, I'm going to be an All-American and play at Notre Dame and I'm going to the College Football Hall of Fame.'

"I feel very fortunate when you read the names of the folks who are in there, let alone the folks who are not in there."
WNDU has a few video clips of the event and an interview with Zorich, who is now working in ND's athletic department.

For those who were too young to watch him play, here's a video highlight reel of Zorich, though it's a bit light on actual highlights. Congrats again Zorro.

Jay here, with a quick postscript. I was reading my copy of Here Come The Irish last night, and in it there's a great interview with Lou Holtz about the '88 team. He was talking about the turnaround from when he took over, and instilling a new, winning attitude among his players, and he shared this anecdote. The Irish went to the Cotton Bowl in 1987, and lost a bad one to Texas A&M. Holtz relates:
The guys were just happy to be there and there just wasn’t the focus that I felt great teams had. We lost the game and in the locker room after the game there was one guy crying and he didn’t even play in the game...and that was Chris Zorich. I had to get on an airplane the very next day and on that 14 hour flight I made the decision that we had to play guys like Chris Zorich that really cared about the team. So that was the start of it.