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irish insider

Team camaraderie aids Mack in tough periods

| Friday, November 9, 2018

Senior tight end Alizé Mack’s journey through Notre Dame has been a tumultuous one. It’s had positives and negatives, but one thing is for sure, it’s been a worthwhile ride for him.

“I chose Notre Dame to, really, better myself as a person: spiritually, athletically and academically, which I think I did,” Mack said. “I had a lot of ups and downs, a lot of tough moments here, but at the end of the day I think it prepared me best for the future – you know they say ‘four for 40’ and when all is said and done I’ll walk away with a degree from here and as a better person. I’ll have achieved my goals.”

Annie Smierciak

Irish senior tight end Alize Mack breaks off the line of scrimmage during Notre Dame’s 19-14 win over Pitt on Oct. 13 at Notre Dame Stadium.

Some of the best moments over the course of Mack’s career have come during the current season.

“I’d probably say Michigan to be honest [is my favorite game], because I’d never had the opportunity to play in that game and I understand the rivalry here, knowing how big that is, I think with that being the first game of the season in 2018 there was so much hype about it, I’d heard it since January. Walking away with that win at home was just incredible,” Mack said.

With the Irish sitting at 9-0, Mack discussed the energy of the team in his final year here.

“I say it all the time, I think this is the best team we’ve had in my four years, personally,” Mack said. “I think it’s because we all bond together. I really think the coaches did a great job … this whole offseason and in the spring pulling guys together — and it was a hard offseason, the hardest offseason I’ve ever gone through, but it forced everyone to come together, and… you have a team that’s willing to fight for each other. You have O-line hanging with recievers and everyone’s just hanging out with each other. Also, we had a lot of guys come back … and it helps out a lot as far as your player development and the chemistry you have with each other, and I just think the way we’re going about our business this year is a lot better than in previous years. No ego, no guys who feel like they’re entitled to anything, we all just want to win and it’s been working out well for us.”

Mack also elaborated on the group focus of the team this year and his role in it.

“[Irish head coach Brian Kelly] always says to just do your job, do what is asked of you,” Mack said. “Not one guy can win you the game, so you just gotta play together. Those undefeated teams have a team that is rare, they don’t come around that often. I love this team and I’m proud of what we’re doing, we just have to finish it. Hopefully in January we can look up and hold that national championship trophy and bring that back to South Bend, something that hasn’t been done in 30 years. Me personally, to help out the team, I’m just being the best player I can, and that’s on and off the field.”

When asked about the significance of his experience at Notre Dame, Mack spoke about the ways in which the University challenged him to grow as a person.

“I’ve thought about it a lot. I’ve always said that one day I’m gonna have an interview and I’ll sit down and talk about my time here. Notre Dame is hard, and it’s easy to choose a different school where you might not be challenged as hard as you are here, but Notre Dame is different,” he said. “I’d always heard Notre Dame wasn’t for everyone before I came here and I didn’t really know what that meant, but being a senior and doing four years here you understand that. … You’re gonna have tough times. You’re gonna bend a lot, till you think you might break … but the support system here is amazing.

“I just see the type of person that I am now versus who I was when I first came in, and it’s cool to see — it just prepares you so well for the future; I couldn’t have picked a better school than Notre Dame, without a doubt. When I leave here I’ll always come back, walk the campus, come see the guys on the football team, hopefully see some of my professors around. I love Notre Dame, it’s a special place.”

Mack is majoring in Film, Television and Theatre with a concentration in television, and plans on pursuing a career in television after college.

“I know I want to be involved in television, I love sports broadcasting. I actually had a class where we met with NBC staff and learned how that stuff works, and had a conversation with the crew before the Stanford game, so hopefully I can dabble in that,” Mack said. “I know we have a great support system, and I’ll find my way but I know for sure I’m getting my degree.”

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