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irish insider

Love reflects on journey from interhall standout to Notre Dame walk-on

| Friday, November 19, 2021

When he first arrived at Notre Dame, Chase Love had big aspirations when it came to football. Not for the Notre Dame football team, though. Love was just hoping to stand out for the Stanford Hall interhall team and win a championship for the Griffins.

“So that first fall semester, I was just a regular student,” Love said. “During that time, I was involved in interhall football. After playing a season with them, it was so fun just bonding with the guys in Stanford. They actually encouraged me to walk on to the team. They thought I could make it. I didn’t really have too much belief, but I walked on to the team and from there, I’ve been enjoying it ever since.”

Even though he didn’t originally plan to join the team as a walk-on, the senior safety from Chicago Heights, Illinois is thrilled that he did. Love has been a part of many important moments for the Irish over the past four years, including two College Football Playoff appearances. But none were as memorable as the victory over the No. 1 team in the country last November.

“Easy one would definitely be the Clemson game,” Love said of his favorite Notre Dame moment. “There’s nothing like everyone rushing the field, going up against the No. 1 team at that time. And we’ve had a past with Clemson as well.”

Off the field, some of Love’s favorite memories in South Bend still revolve around the team. He cherishes his teammates and the bonds that he was able to forge with them.

“I think I’ve always to an extent enjoyed our theme workouts for training. Usually, they’ll be very intense, but at that time because the workouts are so hard, we really rely on each other to get through these tiring workouts,” Love said. “Definitely those moments where we’re just really together as a team are the ones that I’ve enjoyed the most.”

Photo Courtesy of ND Athletics
Irish senior safety Chase Love catches a ball in warm-ups ahead of Notre Dame’s 13-24 loss to Cincinnati on Oct. 2 at Notre Dame Stadium.

Although graduation isn’t until May, Love feels well-prepared for life after Notre Dame. He currently has an offer to work for Wells Fargo in Charlotte, N.C., where he hopes to gain experience in financial services and explore his other interests. One of those interests includes running an NFL team in the future.

“Long-term, I’ve always had a passion for sports. Kind of have an interest in becoming a GM of an NFL team,” Love said. “I don’t know what the plan is to get there, but right now I’m just exploring and getting as much experience as I can wherever I can and trying to do a great job.”

Love’s time on the field is coming to an end. But, the lessons and skills he learned from being on the team will stick with him throughout his post-football career.

“Through the different games, practices, workouts and stuff like that, they’ve tested us mentally in so many ways that I feel like transitioning to not being in a full-blown sport and just focusing specifically on my job and what I want to do next in my career, I feel prepared in every which way to do that.”

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