Buster Sheridan joins Notre Dame in unconventional way
Brenna Moxley | Friday, November 18, 2016
As far as walk-on stories go, Buster Sheridan’s might just take the crown for taking the most guts.
When the senior receiver chose to attend Notre Dame, he assumed that his career in football had come to a close. However, his dad encouraged him to try out, explaining that he really had nothing to lose by doing so. Sheridan gave the football office a call early in the summer following his senior year of high school to express an interest in trying to walk-on to the team. He didn’t hear back right away but continued to work out in hopes that he would receive the opportunity to try out.
When the school year began, he and his dad decided to attend a luncheon for student athletes who were on scholarship. He approached the table full of nametags and said, “Sheridan.” Workers explained that his name was not there, but after assuming it was a mistake, they wrote his name on a nametag in marker. Buster walked around, found someone from the football department, and got a business card — exactly what he had gone there for.
He called, set up a meeting and then arranged a tryout — and it all fell into place from there.
Buster experienced life in the student section at the first home game his freshman year, but at the start of the next game, he ran out of the tunnel and joined the Notre Dame squad on the sideline and has not missed a practice the four years he has been a member of the squad.
“Running out of the tunnel the first time was the number one thing for me,” Sheridan said. “My freshman season in general was a season of firsts: the first time running out of the tunnel and the first time putting on the uniform. I remember looking back on it after and thinking it was the most amazing thing in the world, and I never wanted it to end.
“I still feel that way.”
Sheridan knew even before he was accepted as a student he wanted to attend Notre Dame: The senior receiver from the south side of Chicago has been a Notre Dame fan his entire life — even his dog’s name is Rudy.
“We are the typical Notre Dame family,” Sheridan said. “Literally, I had baby pajamas that said ‘ND’ on them.”
Buster is majoring in civil engineering with a minor in corporate practice, and he said one of his biggest challenges is balancing his athletic and academic workloads.
“It’s a huge commitment; I work a full-time job in school with engineering, but then I also work a full-time job here with football. It was really hard, but after freshman year — when you figure out how to study and see how things work in college — is when I had finally realized that I could balance it all, and it’s only gotten better since then.”
Sheridan recently accepted a job with ARCO/Murray National Construction as a project manager after interning with the company this past summer.
“It was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders; it’s been quite a process,” Sheridan said with a smile.
Reflecting on his experiences at Notre Dame, Sheridan made it a point to thank his parents for making his four-year journey attainable.
“Coming from a family of Notre Dame fans, I have nobody to thank more than my parents; without them this wouldn’t be possible,” Sheridan said. “Along my process there’s been a lot of ups and downs. I have had bumps and bruises, which puts a lot of stress on you mentally, but my parents were always a good outlet for me and I could always talk to them — without them I couldn’t have done any of this. I’m super grateful that I have been able to do this.
“Even though I’ve never played or anything I don’t regret it. I would do it over again.”