The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.


senior day 2023

After five years at Notre Dame, Velotta remains all-in on football

| Friday, November 17, 2023

Notre Dame Athletics
Graduate student running back Skip Velotta stretches before Notre Dame’s game against Louisville at Cardinal Stadium on Oct. 7.

After watching “Rudy” as a kid and traveling to South Bend to watch the Irish play, graduate student running back Chris Velotta fulfilled his dreams of playing college football after four successful years with the Irish football team. Velotta, who also goes by “Skip,” is a political science major from Cleveland who previously lived in Knott Hall. 

Velotta’s signature nickname actually comes from his time playing a different sport: basketball. On his youth basketball team, coaches would always refer to Velotta as “Skip” because of his constant energy. The name stuck since that moment.

“You can probably ask a lot of people here; I think I still have that energy,” Velotta said with a laugh.

Velotta chose to attend Notre Dame because of his love for the University from a young age.

“Since I was a kid, I always thought Notre Dame was magical,” he said.

While in high school, Skip “forgot about” Notre Dame, hoping to attend an Ivy League university to play college football. He decided to apply to the Notre Dame after some honest advice from his mom.

“‘If you’re going to apply to Harvard, why don’t you apply to Notre Dame?’” Velotta recalled her saying.

Notre Dame accepted Velotta in 2019, and he walked onto the football team as a freshman. He saw the field from his sophomore year to now, playing on offense and the special teams unit.

Velotta highlighted one moment during his junior year as his favorite moment on the field. In an away game against Virginia Tech, the Irish trailed by one score in the fourth quarter. Velotta was subbed in for a kick return late in the game, and he remembers the play vividly.

“A whole bunch of childhood dreams were materialized in that very moment,” he said. “The fans were screaming. The lights were as bright as they could ever be.

“I was a kid once, watching college football in my living room and dreaming of this moment,” Velotta said, explaining that the play was his “dream come true.” 

When asked about his plans for the future, Velotta said he wants to stay around the game of football after he graduates.

“I really don’t think I can step away from the game,” he said. “I [plan on] taking an internship with the University of Iowa as a strength coach.”

From this, Velotta hopes to continue working around football in the future.

“Long-term? I’d love to coach the game of football or be a strength and conditioning coach,” he said.

Tags: , , ,

About Nicolas Morles

Contact Nicolas