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Tommy Kraemer holds down offensive line, protects quarterback

| Friday, November 22, 2019

Senior Tommy Kraemer plays a significant role for the offensive front, protecting the quarterback from the right guard position. While his interest in football started at a young age, he only started playing in seventh grade. The more he played, the more he was determined to pursue the sport in college following his time at Elder High School in Cincinnati. When he had to decide what university to attend, he was set on Notre Dame.

Anna Mason | The Observer

Irish senior offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer blocks a defender during Notre Dame’s 35-20 win over Virginia on Sep. 28 at Notre Dame Stadium.

“I committed here pretty early my sophomore year of high school,” Kraemer said. “I just came up here after visiting a couple times and absolutely fell in love with it and the people, so it was a pretty easy decision for me.”

Since then, Kraemer saw action in all 13 games as a sophomore in 2017 and played in 12 games his junior year. He said it was a special experience, having played with so many memorable teammates and leaders and “even just being able to know guys that are playing in the NFL.”

These moments of playing time with star players gave Kraemer memories that stick out in his Notre Dame experience. Kraemer said his time off the field was just as important to him.

“Those guys that you play with every week on the field are your best friends off the field as well,” he said. “You live with each other and do everything together, so I mean it’s the perfect relationship.”

He pointed to his current roommates, junior offensive lineman Robert Hainsey, junior tight end Brock Wright and graduate student offensive lineman Logan Plantz.

“It’s the guys that I’ve played with and I’ve lived with that have made life that much more fun,” Kraemer said.

One of his favorite memories as a player was Thursday pizza night with the rest of the offensive linemen, where they hung out, ate pizza and watched the game.

“It was really just to get our minds relaxed and to hang out with a great group of guys,” he said.

A particular football moment he wanted to highlight was playing with the offensive line in 2017, anchored by Quinton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey, who had won the Joe Moore Award that year. He recalls it being one of his most special moments at Notre Dame, especially since the 2017 season had been such a success.

“We broke just about every record you could imagine. We had two top-10 picks in the left side. We were pretty much unstoppable. It was a lot of fun to play with those guys,” Kraemer said.

Academically, Tommy will receive a degree in management consulting at the end of next semester. Regarding future plans, he said he could see himself going into consulting or even teaching.

“Both my parents are teachers, and I have a long line of teachers in the family, so I think that would be something I’d really enjoy,” Kraemer said.

With little preference in location, Tommy is very open to the possibility of moving around and seeing where his career and future endeavors may take him.

He highlighted some players and friends who helped make his experience at Notre Dame one to remember.

“I’d like to give a special thank you to my close friends: Robert Hainsey, Brock Wright, [junior tight end] Cole Kmet, my family and girlfriend,” he said. “I mean, just about everyone who has been able to help me throughout this journey.”

This support system throughout his time at Notre Dame made his experience that much better, he said. In his words, his Notre Dame seems short, though he said he often wouldn’t listen when people told him time would fly by.

“My biggest advice for incoming football players would be to soak it up,” he said. “Here I am getting ready for Senior Day, and it’s kind of crazy.”

For new and current football players, Kraemer recommended to make the most of every day in classes, on the field and with everyone you surround yourself with.

He said he was looking forward to Senior Day, despite currently being sidelined with a sprained MCL.

“It’s going to be fun, but it is too bad that I am hurt and won’t be able to play,” he said.

It has been quite the college career for Tommy Kraemer, and he looks forward to what the future may hold.

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