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Three Walk-ons Earn Scholarships

Mike Gilloon | Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Senior cornerback Brandon Harris, senior wide receiver Rob Woods and junior defensive lineman Casey Cullen have been awarded scholarships for this school year, Irish coach Charlie Weis announced Monday. Weis rewarded the trio – who all came to Notre Dame as walk-ons – for representing “everything Notre Dame stands for on and off the field.””I went and researched grade point average, looked at character, saw if they were ever in any trouble with the University,” Weis said. “What I didn’t want to do was give away a $40,000 or $50,000 scholarship to someone who has been in a bunch of trouble.”Weis was impressed by their effort, noting that they are all strong students. Woods holds a 3.95 GPA in Aerospace/Mechanical Engineering and played in three games last year. “He might not be the greatest athlete in this world,” Weis said of Woods. “But you get a bunch of guys on your team with that type of heart and intelligence and work ethic that play themselves into the mix because they’re overachievers, not underachievers – that’s the type of guy you want on your team.”Weis also raved about Harris, who came to Notre Dame on a partial music scholarship and participates in the Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra. “I told [Harris] he can take that partial music scholarship and throw that baby away because I’m picking up the tab this year,” Weis said. “I thought he would be the right type of guy, the Notre Dame type of guy that earns his way to a scholarship.”Cullen has never played in a game going into his third year on the team. However, Weis noted his desire and work ethic has helped him become a ‘core’ player on the Irish special teams. “[He’s a] guy that day-in and day-out has been impossible for anyone to block or to stop,” Weis said.

Notes:u Notre Dame Stadium turns 75 this year and the structure is currently being decorated to celebrate its anniversary. Sponsored by the Monogram Club, banners commemorating great moments in Irish football history are being hung in the stadium concourse, from light poles in the Joyce Center parking lots and in the tunnel leading to the field. u Notre Dame freshmen football players met with the media Monday afternoon for the first time since arriving on campus. They spoke at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex about how they’re adjusting from the high school game to Division I college football. “I’ve learned that you have to go 100 percent on every play,” fullback Asaph Schwapp said. “The speed of the game [is different]. There’s also better competition. I’m not used to having that in high school.”