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Breslau makes mark as student first, then athlete

Peter Steiner | Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Every NCAA football player is called to be a “student-athlete.”

However, not every player embodies this term as well as senior Blake Breslau – a Science-Business major whose priorities accurately reflect the order of the words “student” and “athlete.”

“I think [the term student-athlete] definitely applies to me in particular, being Science-Business,” Breslau said. “It’s not an easy major. It’s very hard with a lot of chemistry and science-based classes so the student definitely comes before athlete in my case. Being a student has definitely been a real priority.”

But the term doesn’t just illustrate the San Diego native’s dedication as a student. The order of the two words also reflects the chronology of his time at Notre Dame.

Breslau spent his first two years in South Bend exclusively as a student before trying out for the football team in the spring of his sophomore year. After being invited to return for summer football camp, Breslau knew he had found his place at Notre Dame as both a student and an athlete.

However, Breslau’s two lives were never separated as he continued to learn a variety of lessons while on the football field.

“[Football] has played a big role in my life,” Breslau said. “It’s taught me a lot of good values that I can take off the field – discipline, responsibility and accountability – and just apply to school and anything else.”

The former Keough Hall resident attributes this work ethic displayed on and off the field to someone who has always been in his life: his father.

“My dad is always pushed me to strive in both school and athletics, keep trying, doing your best every day,” Breslau said.

As a member of the team for the last two years, Breslau has added an unrivaled set of experiences to his time at Notre Dame.

“It’s been a great time and I’ve created some good relationships with the guys,” Breslau said. “It’s been a really special year.

“The best experience so far has been the Stanford game this year. Being able to share that with the students rushing the field I thought was a really special experience.”

While the victory over Stanford in October and the Champs Sports Bowl Game highlight Breslau’s football experience, he said the community he shares with his teammates, particularly the other walk-ons, has been the most rewarding aspect of playing for Notre Dame.

“I think [the Walk On Players Union] has been a really good support system,” Breslau said. “We all stick together and we just have a blast with it. It keeps us motivated to keep working hard and keep playing hard for practice and hopefully some of us can get on the field once and a while.”

This camaraderie Breslau has with his teammates also extends past football, as his friendships off the field define his favorite times at Notre Dame.

“My best memories are just being with my friends, hanging out with my friends and just the friendships I’ve made,” Breslau said. “Those times just hanging around, just talking, just having a good time are the best.”

In fact, this strong community is the realization of what the senior sought even before he stepped foot on campus at Notre Dame. Four years ago, Breslau recognized Notre Dame held exactly what he was looking for in college – a welcoming, friendly environment.

“I just really liked the community atmosphere [at Notre Dame],” Breslau said. “It was a good community and I really liked some of the professors that I was able to talk with on my visit. I just thought it was a really good, friendly place to spend four years.”

On Senior Day, Breslau is looking forward to sharing this place he has found with two visitors.

“My parents will be here so that will be special,” Breslau said. “That will be the most memorable part [of my last game].”

Ultimately, Breslau will not just show his parents what Notre Dame means to him. He will prove to himself that at Notre Dame, he has found the perfect combination of academics, athletics and community.


Contact Peter Steiner at psteiner@nd.edu