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Leprechaun announced for next year

Sarah Mervosh | Monday, April 27, 2009

Junior Daniel Collins was named the Notre Dame leprechaun for the 2009-10 year after serving as the junior varsity leprechaun this year.

As leprechaun, Collins said he plans on returning to the “old school spirit that everyone talks about in our glory days.”

Collins would like to issue a “call to arms” to the student body to “really support the teams and just give it their all.”

“I think The Shirt says it best when it says ‘Defend our Honor,'” Collins said. “I think that this is the perfect opportunity for us, the fans, to defend our honor of Notre Dame and really just capture that respect that we had in the past.”

While 15 men tried out for the position of leprechaun, only six made it to the finals, where each contestant had three minutes to conduct his own pep rally.

The final tryout was used to simulate the pep rally for the season opener against Nevada, so Collins said he gave a speech and started some cheers to get everyone on their feet.

“I gave a speech about how I’m excited for this year’s football season and how the team had a lot of momentum right now to get everyone fired up for it,” Collins said.

The candidates were also judged on their ability to respond to game situations, complete an interview with a media personality as well as a private interview with a panel of judges, he said.

When asked what set him apart from the other candidates, Collins said it was “hard to describe.”

“I think they recognized just how much I loved the University and how much I put myself into the whole experience,” he said.

Collins said he knew he wanted to be the leprechaun since the beginning of freshman year.

“I’ve always been a huge sports fan and from the first time I came to Notre Dame, the whole atmosphere around our sports teams and what people call the ND spirit, basically just blew me away,” Collins said.

Collins said he is most excited about the opportunity connect with the fans.

“I’m excited for all our sports to have great seasons and I’m most excited to be able to share with the fans,” he said.

Collins, who is an Irish Studies minor and whose family comes from West Cork, Ireland, said he sees the opportunity to be the Notre Dame mascot as a “huge honor.”

“I just wanted to let the students know that I see this as a huge honor to be able to represent them and represent a University that means so much to so many people,” he said.