The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Football: LeVoir and Stevenson work out for pro teams

Kate Gales | Friday, April 28, 2006

This weekend’s NFL Draft will shape the next few years in the lives of Notre Dame offensive linemen Mark LeVoir and Dan Stevenson.

LeVoir, a native of Eden Prairie, Minn., and Stevenson, from Barrington, Ill., have interviewed with almost all 32 NFL teams in anticipation for the draft.

“The most difficult thing is just the unknowing,” LeVoir said. “You have no clue where you’re going to go, what’s going to happen. … You’re going to be in one of the 32 NFL cities, but you can’t plan or do anything until you know [which one].”

LeVoir started 36 straight games at right tackle with the Irish. He has traveled to Cincinnati and Chicago, and talked to most – if not all – of the NFL teams. He began preparations for the draft immediately after Notre Dame’s 34-20 loss in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 2.

“All I did to prepare was prepare for pro day and personal workouts,” he said. “Some guys chose to stay here – I chose to go down to Arizona for a change of scene.”

Stevenson, a right guard, spent time in Houston preparing for various pre-draft events.

“I trained there for five weeks before the combine, went to the combine, came back to school and I just worked out here with our strength coach here,” he said. “We had a pro day [on campus], and a couple individual workouts with teams that I did.”

Stevenson has also talked to all of the NFL teams.

“It’s no telling where you’re going to go in the draft, where you’re going to go and the kind of pressure is definitely something. … You can’t understand until you’re there,” Stevenson said.

Both linemen said it’s hard to believe that Draft day is finally here.

“I still don’t think it’s really hit me all that much,” Stevenson said. “Even at the Blue-Gold game last weekend, even that, it’s hard to feel that your time here at Notre Dame is over and you’re moving onto something you’ve obviously always dreamed of.”

LeVoir, who is still living in South Bend, has experienced the same sense of a turning point.

“I’m just trying to soak it all in and enjoy my last few days here at Notre Dame,” LeVoir said.

An important part of their Notre Dame experience, Stevenson said, was Irish coach Charlie Weis, who proved a valuable resource as the two prepared to make the jump to the NFL.

“I’ve had a huge support staff,” Stevenson said. “I don’t think this process would have been as easy without them – Coach Weis, [Notre Dame offensive line] Coach Latina, obviously my family – just talking to them, they obviously keep my spirits high.”

LeVoir mentioned Weis specifically as a significant mentor.

“[He’s] the best resource a college player could ever want,” he said. “With his experience in the NFL, it speaks for itself.”

As for draft day, LeVoir will be playing golf or doing something else to relax, and Stevenson will wait to hear about his friends while focusing on other things.

“What’s going to happen is what’s going to happen,” LeVoir said.