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Gregory reflects on unique path to Notre Dame football

| Friday, December 18, 2020

Reed Gregory did not always have his sights set on Notre Dame. The senior linebacker from Morristown, N.J. did not grow up as a lifelong fan, and he was not a legacy of the university either. But when Gregory stopped in South Bend for a campus tour, something about Notre Dame just felt different to him. 

“When I was visiting colleges, I just kind of fell in love with it,” Gregory said. “I played football in high school, obviously. I had a few [Division III] and Ivy [League] offers, but I really wanted to come to Notre Dame. Fortunately, I got in, and freshman year I played club lacrosse, and then I walked onto the football team at the end of freshman year.”

Gregory’s passion for lacrosse and football stem from his time playing both sports at Delbarton High School, a private, all-male Catholic college preparatory school in New Jersey. The Delbarton football team did well during Gregory’s four years at the school, securing a winning percentage over .500 every season except for 2016-2017. However, Gregory had the most team success with lacrosse, as he finished his high school career by winning back-to-back state championships.

Although Gregory’s lacrosse teams at Delbarton were more successful, he decided that football was the sport he wanted to pursue in college. Gregory had to wait a year before joining the Notre Dame team as a walk-on, but he was glad that he got to experience life outside of football during his freshman year. One of the benefits was that he was able to make a strong group of friends both on and off the field.

“I’m fortunate to kind of get the best of both worlds freshman year. I got to go to the football games and tailgate and be in the stands, and it was very fun,” Gregory said. “But even when I was watching, I always wanted to be on the field. So [I] tried out and made the team and [am] very happy that I did.”

Courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics
Irish senior linebacker Reed Gregory wears a bright red penny and baseball cap to stand out as he assists with signaling teammates from the sideline.

Gregory did not get on the field during his junior season in 2019, but he did see game action this year in Notre Dame’s 52-0 win over South Florida on Sept. 19. However, Gregory listed another game from this season as the one that would define his experience on the football team. 

“I’m sure a lot of people have said this, but Clemson is probably the highlight,” Gregory said. “I also got to find my friends and my brother who was visiting for the game on the field after the game, which was a very fun moment. Although it wasn’t exactly the best with [COVID-19] going on, it was a very fun experience to see everyone on the field after the game.”

Gregory interned at a wealth management firm in New York last summer, and he hopes to use his economics major and Russian and marketing minors to earn a full-time job at the firm after graduation.

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