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Jake Richardville: Interhall champ goes varsity as receiver

Ellyn Michalak | Thursday, November 15, 2007

Growing up in Fort Wayne, Ind., Jake Richardville’s first love was baseball.

While he was offered Division II scholarships for his efforts in the sport, Richardville ultimately decided to come to Notre Dame because of academics.

After Richardville was seriously injured in practice before his eighth grade football season, he couldn’t convince his parents to let him play football until his senior year of high school. Once he was out from under their roof, Richardville decided to join his dorm’s Interhall team. But in the spring of his freshman year, Richardville realized he wanted to play more than just a dorm sport.

“After playing Interhall, I had the urge to increase the competition level and take the next step,” Richardville said. “I wanted to see if I could make the team because Notre Dame football is different from every other program around the country because of its tradition.”

In the spring of 2005, Richardville tried out for the Irish varsity team as a punter.

“I thought that trying out as a specialist would give me the best opportunity to make the team. It turns out that they really didn’t need any specialists at the time, so I was cut from the team. I was devastated, but at the same time I was motivated to work harder and learn a new position,” Richardville said.

After leading Zahm to the championship in the fall of his sophomore year, Richardville decided to try out again – this time at a different position.

“I trained all year, came back to tryouts one year later as a wide receiver and was fortunate enough to make the team,” Richardville said.

Playing for Notre Dame for two years has provided Richardville with many memorable moments. As a walk-on, he takes pride in doing his part to help the team’s defense.

“Whether it be getting a first down against our number one defense, or scoring a touchdown in practice, those are the moments I’ll never forget,” Richardville said.

“I think playing football is the best thing that has ever happened to me, because I was able to learn a new type of work ethic, time management and the ability to spread myself out and work efficiently in both the classroom and on the football field.”

Despite two memory-filled years on the team, Richardville is ready for the next chapter of his life. After he graduates in the spring with a degree in pre-professional science, Richardville plans on going to medical school somewhere in the Midwest.

“The ending of this season is bittersweet for me,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the next portion of my life. I’m excited to go into the medical field right now, and I’m ready to serve others in my profession for the rest of my life.”

Richardville has had tremendous academic and athletic success over the past four years, and he attributes his accomplishments to his family.

“I love my parents. I love my four brothers. I couldn’t have a better support group,” Richardville said, “I think my family friends and my faith have really enabled me to enjoy this experience more than anything I ever could have imagined.”