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Marquis Dickerson ‘keeps it simple’ at Notre Dame

| Friday, November 18, 2016

Back in 2012, a high school senior from Marianna, Arkansas, was figuring out where he was planning to go to college. Being a fan of the University of Arkansas, Marquis Dickerson thought he was going to play football for the Razorbacks until he stepped onto the campus of Notre Dame.

“Before I visited Notre Dame, I was set on going to Arkansas, so I figured, ‘Let’s go see what Notre Dame is like.” Dickerson said. “Honestly, the trip started off terrible.”

Dickerson lost his luggage when he was flying into South Bend from Arkansas.

“It was April when I first came into South Bend and it was snowing. All I had was a t-shirt and I didn’t get my luggage until the next day,” Dickerson said. “Fortunately the trip ended up being positive afterwards, and it was an incredible experience so when I got back home, I knew I had a very difficult decision to make and eventually I end up choosing Notre Dame.

“It’s universal, it’s a special place and I wanted to try something new, especially being the first one from my hometown to get into Notre Dame.”

Irish senior defensive lineman Marquis Dickerson smiles while the team lines up for the Alma Mater after Notre Dame beat Miami.Michael Yu | The Observer
Irish senior defensive lineman Marquis Dickerson smiles while the team lines up for the Alma Mater after Notre Dame beat Miami.

Although Dickerson hasn’t played a single down for the Irish in his four years, he said is blessed and privileged to go out onto the practice field and give everything he has.

“My uncle, who passed away over the summer, told me ‘Life is good, so keep it simple’ so on my cleats, I write ‘Keep it simple,’” Dickerson said. “That’s my mindset every day so I just get out here and play football, it’s a kid’s game. Notre Dame is a great university and has great fans, but at the end of the day, it’s just football.”

In fact, Dickerson said the best advice he could give to the younger players on the team is to keep it simple and have fun.

“I use my uncle’s words ‘Keep it simple’ to them,” Dickerson said. “This is a university where we’re on the field with five-star athletes and when we wake up going to class, we’re at a five-star academic institution. Just being able to keep that mindset and know that we’re here for a reason and compete on the highest level regardless of the situation.”

Helping him ‘keep it simple,’ Dickerson said he owes a large part of his success to his family. When senior day arrives for Dickerson, he admits that there will be some emotions shown when he meets his mom and his aunt at midfield.

“I might be in tears,” Dickerson said. “My mom and my auntie will be there. My auntie is my guardian angel.”

Dickerson’s aunt was born with cerebral palsy. She is unable to walk and now has chronic asthma. Despite these difficulties, Dickerson’s aunt will attend her first Notre Dame game when the Irish take on Virginia Tech on Senior Day.

“It’s going to be a special moment for me seeing my auntie, despite all of the problems that she has, and being there and enjoying the moment with me.”

While his aunt’s presence on Senior Day will certainly be a special moment, Dickerson said he has also enjoyed the many smaller special moments during his time at Notre Dame. When he’s not on the practice field, Dickerson, a business major studying management consulting, said he enjoys watching the “Family Feud” and playing Madden.

“It’s funny because when we first bought the new Madden, the controls were difficult and I felt that my roommate spent a lot of time practicing,” Dickerson said. “He’s beaten me the first few times, but I’ve been on a two-month winning streak so I have to keep up the competitiveness and not lose.”

And it seems Dickerson’s competitiveness has payed off academically, as the senior already has a potential job lined up.

“Actually, just recently, I’ve got a job offer from a winery in Hoboken, New Jersey,” Dickerson said. “Their management development program makes up three percent of the company and everyone is like a sales representative so I would be able to be promoted to management status within two years. I’m excited for the opportunity.”

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