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irish insider

John Shannon comes from a lineage of Notre Dame football

| Friday, November 22, 2019

John Shannon has Notre Dame football in his blood. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Shannon — who wears number 54 on the field — always expected to play for the Irish. Both his father Gerard and his grandfather Dan, class of ’55, were on the football team during their times on campus, making Shannon the third generation in his family to wear the gold helmet at Notre Dame Stadium.

“It’s been always a dream of mine to play here,” said Shannon. “I always had it in the back of my mind during the recruiting process. It’s something really special, and it means a lot to people, especially at this school.”

Ann Curtis | The Observer

Irish senior long snapper John Shannon huddles with teammates during Notre Dame’s 38-17 win over Stanford on Sep. 29, 2018 at Notre Dame Stadium.

The former Knott Hall resident, widely considered the top long snapper in his recruiting class, is Notre Dame’s starting long snapper and only the second of his position recruited during the Brian Kelly era. Though he didn’t see any game action his freshman year, he has played in every game since the beginning of his sophomore season through the end of his senior year. His snapping consistency on field goals, extra points and punts helped lead the Irish to its undefeated season last year, as well as supporting Notre Dame’s all-time high scorer: kicker Justin Yoon, who graduated this year. He also added several tackles on special teams.

Shannon said Notre Dame’s 12-0 regular season in 2018 was a huge highlight for him — especially the road game against USC that clinched Notre Dame’s spot in the playoffs.

“An undefeated season was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for people who play sports. It’s something you strive for,” Shannon said. “Even though the playoffs didn’t end well, getting there was really cool. At USC, when we sealed the deal, we had prepared really well, and it was good to know we controlled our own destiny.”

Shannon, a graduate of Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., is finishing up a major in economics. The 6’2” senior said he plans to return to Chicago after graduation to join the police department. He values the educational opportunities that Notre Dame has afforded him during his four years here.

“It’s a different school to play at in terms of the academics,” Shannon said. “Being able to say you’re a graduate here, especially with a major that’s more challenging, it’s definitely something to be proud of that you can carry with you for the rest of your life.”

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