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Tausch adds name to Notre Dame record books

Joseph Monardo | Wednesday, November 14, 2012

For Irish senior kicker Nick Tausch, watching the ball sail through the uprights is a special feeling.

“It feels great,” Tausch said. “Just going through your technique and going through your rhythm that you have and knowing that all the hard work that you worked on through practice and throughout the week in the film study that you look at, the work that you put in really paid off.”

Tausch, a native of Plano, Texas, had a standout freshman campaign in 2009 when he converted a then-school record 14-straight field goals in a stretch spanning seven games. In Notre Dame’s 37-30 overtime victory over Washington on Oct. 3 of that year, the rookie was successful on all five of his field goal attempts — good for another school record. However, an injury cut his season short and forced Tausch to miss the season’s final three games.

“It was really tough,” Tausch said of the injury. “I ended up spraining my ankle and it was tough because I was on a roll and the team was doing well. So, I mean, it was tough to have to go on the sideline and know that since it was the end of the season, or the latter end of the season, it was going to be towards the end and I probably wouldn’t get back out there.”

As a sophomore Tausch saw action in three games, mostly on kickoff duty. He converted his lone field goal attempt in 2010, a 34-yard kick against Miami in the Sun Bowl. He did not see game action as a junior and has not played since the 2012 opener against Navy.
Although he has not returned to a primary role in the Irish kicking game since his injury, the self-proclaimed “country boy” said he does not think about what could have been.

“I mean, I just think that injuries have kind of played a part in my career here, but I look at the positives that I’ve done and just continue to work better every single day knowing that my opportunity is around the corner,” Tausch said. “It’s there, I am going to jump on it and do well.

“I don’t really try to focus on the negatives or anything negative that happened in the game before. I am just always looking at the positives. I know that injuries do play a part in sport.”

Instead of focusing on setbacks, Tausch said he takes pride in his ability to be consistent when given the chance to perform.

“Really just me being consistent, I think [is my most important achievement],” he said. “I think I am [15-of-18 in field-goal attempts] throughout my career, so just being consistent is something.”

Ranked as the ninth-best kicker in the nation coming out of high school, Tausch said the decision to come to Notre Dame was originally difficult.

“I think it was [a hard decision] at the beginning but then the more that I thought about it, and then when I took my visit here, the more that I realized this place was for me,” he said.

“When I got up here it was during the spring … and it was just really cool and a really beautiful place, I just fell in love with it, to be honest. Right when I stepped on campus, and then throughout my whole tour that I had and meeting the coaches and everything, I knew it was the school for me.”

The sociology major said he aims to stay a fifth year to play out his final year of NCAA eligibility. Tausch especially values the relationships he has formed with teammates, especially senior special teams players long snapper Jordan Cowart and punter Ben Turk.

“[What comes to mind is] really just my class, my teammates that are in my class this year,” he said. “We have a really good group of guys, I probably couldn’t ask [for] anyone better. I have just bonded with them and gotten to know them for the last four years, that I will have relationships with for the rest of my life.”

As to what comes after graduation, Tausch said he is not certain what path he wants to pursue, although a position within football is at the top of the list.

“I’m really not sure 100 percent yet,” he said. “I am still kind of thinking about that, actually really starting to zone in on what I really want to focus on. But right now I am leaning towards coaching. I’m not sure what type of level or whatnot, but I think it would be really cool to kind of give back to players that want to play.”

Contact Joseph Monardo at jmonardo@nd.edu