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Thank you, Big Lou

Matt Smith | Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dear Big Lou,

As you prepare for your final home game in Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, I wanted to offer my personal thanks to you for all you’ve done for Notre Dame over the past three-and-a-half years.

We know it wasn’t easy for a kid who grew up in the plentiful sunshine of Florida and attended public school in a big city to take a chance on a small, cold, Catholic university 1,000 miles away in Middle-of-Nowhere, Indiana. You believed in Notre Dame at a time when it was easy to write off the Fighting Irish football program. Not only had Notre Dame lost 21 games in three seasons, but your commitment came at a time when the program was without a head coach.

It’s no secret that it wasn’t always smooth sailing for you, as is the case with most college students going through the biggest adjustment of their lives. You fought through a redshirt season, some difficult losses and all the other challenges that come with being a Notre Dame football player to become the most dominant nose guard in college football and help lead us to our best season in 20 years.

Of course, this is about more than just football. Notre Dame has had plenty of great football players in its history, but it’s only had one Louis Nix. Your way of keeping things in perspective, even in the cut-throat world of major college football, is always refreshing.

Even after a season that sent your NFL draft stock soaring, you were determined to come back to school and complete your Notre Dame degree. When I see a tweet from @1IrishChocolate come across my Twitter timeline, I know I’m going to laugh. Your two-point conversion in the Blue-Gold Game remains the greatest play in the history of spring football.

I think I can speak for all alumni in saying that we’re proud to share an alma mater with you. Have a great Senior Day on Saturday afternoon and let’s finish strong. Thanks for all you’ve done for Notre Dame, both on and off the field. We’ll miss you, Big Lou.

Matt Smith
B.B.A. 2007, M.S. 2008
Nov. 20