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You are watching: 1988 notre dame football team roster

kris Zorich #50, protective Tackle for the Notre Dame Fighting irish blocks chris Dalman #50 that the Stanford Cardinal during their NCAA Independent university football game on 7 October 1989 in ~ the Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California, united States. Notre Dame won the game 27 - 17. Photo by otto Greule Jr/Allsport/Getty photos
for this week’s Throwback Thursday post I assumed I’d dust off one more book from my Notre Dame publication shelf. What publication have ns picked? Jerry Barca’s “Unbeatable: Notre Dame’s 1988 Championship and also the Last an excellent College soccer Season.” Jerry go an incredible project of share the magic that occurred both on and off the ar that year, and includes backgrounds of your favorite players from the 1988 Notre Dame Fighting irish Football team. I’d favor to re-publishing a couple of excerpts indigenous the book this week, focusing on one player, my friend and classmate, kris Zorich.

Just ripe starts right into his college career, chris Zorich had already become a cult figure. High school football players began wearing belly-showing half jerseys come look choose Zorro, the beast who played sleep tackle because that the Fighting Irish. Before the Miami game, a team of Notre Dame students pulled names out of a cap to identify which one would win the privilege of paint his body with Zorich’s number 50.

“I had no idea. I was the end there trying to have fun - and really survive,” the said.

Zorich is a sporting activities rarity. In the lionization that athletes, his story is more truth 보다 fable. He visited the exact same high institution as Chicago Bears hall of fame linebacker dick Butkus. He flourished up with his mother, Zora, in a one-bedroom apartment in a two-story brownstone ~ above the edge of Eighty-first and also Burnham top top Chicago’s southern Side. Rent was $140 a month. Zora, a diabetic top top welfare disability, received $200 a month. She slept top top the couch, and Chris slept in the bedroom.

When the money ran the end each month, Zora put young kris on her bike and also pedaled to the neighborhood supermarket soon after closing. There she parked next to the Dumpster and lifted chris over she shoulders into the trash. He picked with what the grocer had thrown out, handing his mother partly rotten meat and also produce. Zora would cut away the spoiled parts, and also they had their food till the next inspect came or till they needed to go back to the Dumpster.

“She walk the finest she could, however there to be times things were tight,” Zorich said.

Dope fiends, drug dealers, gangs, and also prostitutes fancy the ar scene. No one went to college. If someone i graduated high school, it to be a significant accomplishment. Zorich never ever knew his father, but that was never ever an issue. Most youngsters in the area didn’t know their dad. There were only around a half-dozen dads in the neighborhood of about sixty families.


He want to play football when he gone into Chicago Vocational High school as a freshman, however Zora refused to sign the paperwork permitting her young to participate in the violent sport. In his sophomore year, kris begged and pleaded v Zora to sign the permission slip. She refused. ~ above the method to college the following day, kris forged her name.

He lied to his mother, informing her he was acquiring home late since he remained in the college play and also participating in other school activities. The ruse fell apart when Zora uncovered his football equipment in the apartment.

“You’ve to be lying come me, can not use you?” she asked, confronting Chris. She sat him down on the couch and told the she to be doing her ideal to raise the on her own.

They talked for numerous hours. Chris told her football taught him discipline and he was about people who collection goals. She permitted it, but she didn’t check out him play until the last video game of his senior year. She was also worried the would gain hurt. Chris had actually the assistant principal and some friends carry her to the game and also sit through her in case she got upset evil her boy on the gridiron.

“Oh mine God. She good,” she told kris after the game.


At Notre Dame, Zorich uncovered a utopia. There to be tree-encircled lakes, v ducks and squirrels come hand-feed. The dining hall had actually all-you-can-eat food. Part students complained around it. No Zorich. He didn’t also share his. Human being left bicycles unlocked overnight in prior of dorms. “And they were still there in the morning,” Zorich said. “Are girlfriend kidding me?”

His freshman year, the did no play a down. Top top the night prior to home games, he slept in his dorm while various other classmates, people who had a possibility to view action, continued to be with the team.

He relocated from middle linebacker to sleep tackle in his first year. Play on the reconnaissance team during a practice leading approximately the Michigan State game, he caused havoc because that the first-team offense as soon as he put a hand top top the ground on the defensive line. After ~ practice, Holtz announced to the team that they had found the next nose tackle.


His weight room sessions to be performances. He curled as lot as the punter bench-pressed, and also he bench-pressed 500 pounds.

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While Zorich grunted and maxed out on the bench, Ricky Watters leaned end in his face and also mocked his stutter. The next thing everyone experienced was Zorich chasing Watters approximately the load room till the flanker escaped. Zorich wouldn’t forget. Later, at training table, he can sneak behind one unsuspecting Watters, who had actually sat down to eat, and clamp a headlock on his tormentor.

Part the Zorich knew it was in jest, however he only knew one means to react. “Where i’m from, once you talk shit, you’ve gained to ago it up, and also that supposed fighting,” Zorich said.


If you’d choose to read an ext about Zorich and also the remainder of the guys on the Unbeatable 1988 team, and also everything the went into producing that wonder season ... Go check out Jerry Barca’s publication for yourself! (Once you start it, friend won’t want to placed it down.)

If you’re not the book reading type, Jerry Barca was also one the the producers of the Hesburgh film, and also if friend haven’t watched it however ... What are you waiting for?? You can watch it on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and also Barnes & Noble, and if you’ve got Amazon Prime, you deserve to watch it because that free!

Have you males been analysis any great books during your time continuing to be at home? please share through me ... I’m constantly looking because that something an excellent to read.