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Hendrix seeks pressure on field, in classroom

Isaac Lorton | Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Allotropes are the different forms of an element, alterations based on how the atoms are arranged and bonded. Andrew Hendrix knows that a diamond is just an allotrope of carbon. He knows this because he is a science pre-professional major at Notre Dame. He knows this because he wants to be a doctor. 

He knows this because he is a quarterback at Notre Dame.    

“I like the phrase, ‘no pressure, no diamonds,'” Hendrix said. “A high school coach of mine always said that human beings need a little pressure in life to make them function properly and I totally agree with that. I love the pressure. I don’t think I could just sit on my couch for more than three days without doing something that required a little pressure. 

“I really like it, because I think I am built to handle it. I enjoy [pressure] situations. Whether that’s why I am a quarterback and want to be a doctor, I don’t know. But I think that in the end, being able to handle those situations, going from a quarterback to a doctor should translate well.”

Pressure is what the Cincinnati native thrives on, as Hendrix came to Notre Dame in order to pursue two of his dreams: playing football and becoming a doctor. 

“[Football and medical school] were equally important,” Hendrix said. “I definitely wanted to do the med-school route. That being said, I wanted to go to a big-time place and play big-time football. And Notre Dame was one of the places that offered both of those. So at the end of the day, it was really a no-brainer.” 

With the workload of a science major and a collegiate quarterback, Hendrix said he grew to withstand the pressure, as it changed who he was. 

“It’s been tough, there’s no doubt about it,” Hendrix said. “My first couple years, I was still kind of feeling it out. … At first, I didn’t really know how to set apart time. What I have learned the most, is if you are going to study, then study. You have to put your phone away, you’ve got to go to the library on the 10th floor and just go there and do the studying thing. 

“And when you go to the Gug for football, that’s all you’ve got to be thinking about. Because if you’re in the library thinking about football or on the football field thinking about your chemistry exam the next day, then you are not going to be as good as you want in either.”

Hendrix was recruited by Charlie Weis, one of three quarterbacks brought in along with fellow seniors Tommy Rees and Luke Massa. After Weis’s firing and Brian Kelly’ arrival, Hendrix saw his mobility working well in Kelly’s offensive schemes from Cincinnati.  

“[Kelly’s hiring] definitely excited me,” Hendrix said. “But at the end of the day you commit to a school. That’s how I went about my selection process. You have to like the head coach, like the campus, like everything, but I was committing to a school. So regardless [of the head coach], Notre Dame was what it was going to be. Plus being from Cincinnati, when Coach Kelly came from Cincy, I had already built a relationship with him and that staff, so that was a pretty seamless transition.”

Hendrix honed his skills and confidence on the scout team his freshman season. 

“The scout team was one of the best times of my time here,” Hendrix said. “You kind of just go and throw the ball around and have no regards to where it is going at any point. You just fling it is hard as you can at people. …. Freshman year was definitely a blast.” 

As a sophomore in 2011, Hendrix received playing time alongside Tommy Rees. He came into five games as a change-of-pace option. Against Air Force on Oct. 8, 2011, Hendrix ran for 111 yards and placed himself at fifth all time for rushing yards in a single game by a Notre Dame quarterback. He attributed his formation to his time on the scout team.  

For the 2012 season, Hendrix had to compete with Rees and sophomore Everett Golson for the starting job.    

“I played pretty well [in 2011], but had a lot of room to go,” Hendrix said. “So I really worked a lot on my game junior year summer and then building up to that competition with Everett. It was pretty close, but he beat me out. But then again, I was still getting better. Far better than I was sophomore year. And I continued to get better day to day.”

Following Golson’s suspension this summer, the quarterback job was again in flux and Hendrix rose to the opportunity.  

“That was pretty rough on our team, pretty rough for [Golson],” Hendrix said. “But obviously you have to move on with the guys, the season doesn’t stop. The team went on, and I got to play a bit, which has been awesome for me and good for the team as well.”

Hendrix may have wanted the pressures he faced coming to Notre Dame, but he did not know how they would shape him. 

“The four years have flown by faster than I could even imagine,” Hendrix said. “I can still remember getting on campus as a freshman and being so much smaller than everybody else. Looking up to guys like [former Irish quarterback] Dayne [Crist] and [former Irish tight end] Kyle Rudolph and seeing how big they were. That seemed like yesterday. And just going all the way back to my official visits with all the guys that you never expect to become so close with. Being here with those guys for so long and building those bonds, has been the best part of it.”

Contact Isaac Lorton at ilorton@nd.edu