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irish insider

John Chereson fulfills lifelong dream playing at Notre Dame

| Friday, November 18, 2016

Growing up in Erie, Pennsylvania, John Chereson spent most of his Saturdays at home watching Notre Dame football with his dad, cheering for the Irish. So for the senior kicker, attending Notre Dame was a dream come true.

Chereson, whose parents both graduated from Notre Dame, already knew how magical and beautiful Notre Dame was.

“When I first got here for a college visit, it’s an experience I will never forget,” said Chereson.  “Seeing the golden dome, the community of Notre Dame, it’s amazing.”

The former Duncan Hall resident has found a way to balance both academics and football while pursuing a degree in IT management. Chereson said that being able to balance academics and football has not been overly difficult given that athletes get the opportunity to schedule classes earlier and attend classes at a proper time. In addition, having classes early gives Chereson and other football players enough time in the afternoon for practice and meetings.

Irish senior kicker John Chereson practices before Notre Dame’s victory over Miami on Oct. 29 at Notre Dame Stadium. Chereson kicked off three times in the game, including one that went for a touchback.Michael Yu | The Observer

Irish senior kicker John Chereson practices before Notre Dame’s victory over Miami on Oct. 29 at Notre Dame Stadium. Chereson kicked off three times in the game, including one that went for a touchback.

While on the team, Chereson said he has been fortunate to form friendships. One of these groups of friends is known as the “specialist” group.

“We are a close group,” Chereson said. “We always go out to dinner on Thursday nights just talking about what’s going on during the week and in our lives.  It’s definitely a close group of mine.”

Chereson has also made lasting friendships with senior cornerback Cole Luke, senior tight end Jacob Matuska and is roommates with senior defensive end and captain Isaac Rochell.

Chereson has not been seeing much playing time since he’s been at Notre Dame, playing behind Kyle Brinda and then Justin Yoon. However, all of that changed when he finally got his chance at home against Miami back in late October.

“In the Miami game, I’ve got to kickoff.  It was such an amazing experience for me,” said Chereson. “That’s definitely the number one experience that I’ve had since I’ve been here.”

Irish head coach Brian Kelly said in the postgame press conference after the Miami game that he was impressed on how well Chereson kicked in that game and might see more kickoff opportunities for him for the rest of the season.

“Chereson’s done a really nice job. So we wanted to give him some kicks and really take some of the load off of Justin,” Kelly said.

Chereson admits that when his name gets called for introductions Saturday and runs towards his family at the 50-yard line, he will get emotional.

“I’m planning on having mixed emotions, with a bit of both happy and sad,” said Chereson. “It’s going to be my last game, and seeing my family at the middle of field will remind me of all the good times that I’ve had here and the memories of being in the stadium.”

So what’s next for John Chereson?

Chereson has a fifth year, and he said he’s considering whether to stay at Notre Dame for one more year or transfer to another school.

“Wherever I do end up, I do intend on continuing to play football in my fifth year, trying to attain a MBA, and graduate,” Chereson said.

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