The World According to Big Lou

Senior nose guard Louis Nix spent five minutes with the media late Friday afternoon. (No further tease needed.)

Senior nose guard Louis Nix was dubbed the best nose guard in the country by his head coach Brian Kelly last month. Irisheyes.com ranked him as the No. 2 overall player on the 12-1 Irish in 2012, and just a shade behind the most decorated defensive player in college football history, Manti Te'o.

Nix's immediate goal is to eliminate the "1" from the right side of Notre Dame's W-L ledger next fall. Long-term? A spot in the National Football League, one that will better allow him to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Should Nix not make good on the latter, there's always the talk-show circuit…or perhaps his own.

Prior to settling into his first-row seat for a schedule media session, Nix appeared to attempt to beg out of the requirement. Fortunate for those in attendance late Friday afternoon, duty called, and the always affable Nix held court.

Below is a small sampling of the World According to Louis Nix:

Nix on his number change and weight gain

"There was no real reason," Nix said of the switch from #9 to #1. "I thought it'd be entertaining to see a big guy, small-er number. We've never seen it before, so why not?

Regarding a listed weight gain of 21 pounds (326 to 347) from last season, Nix offered it wasn't necessarily part of the master plan:

"No man. It's really 300 but they got the numbers mixed up," he joked. "Just got bigger in the weight room, I plan on dropping some good weight and putting on some more muscle during the summer. Going back to Arizona, work out there for my summer. Come back here, get the rest of that done (in camp) and we'll see how I look during the season.

"Who knows, I don't usually look at my weight. People ask me my weight and I throw some random numbers out there. Realistically, I would love to play at 280, but I'll take 340 any day, too.

On the team's spring goal

"Coming off that ass-whoppin' from Alabama, we just want to get back on track and focus. Make our way back to the national championship game, hopefully do a better job and put on a better performance for everybody to look at."

Nix stood by his purported locker room comments that Alabama did not dominate the line of scrimmage vs. the Irish, though he conceded the final score is all that matters.

"Honestly, I don't think I was personally dominated, and that guy that quoted me, he can…I don't know.

"I think I did a pretty good job and we didn't do as bad as everyone saw. I mean, it was a pretty big difference in the score -- kind of like we got demolished -- and we did. But there were a lot of good things.

"We showed a lot of progression from two and three years ago when we were losing to Tulsa, now we're losing to Alabama in the national championship game. I see things coming along, I'm not too worried about it. Hopefully we just keep pushing and making strides to get back to the national championship game."

On why he again plans to train in Arizona

"I usually go home (to Florida) and do nothing and gain weight and eat," Nix said. "There's no purpose in doing that. I have all the time in the world to go on spring break.

"I don't want to ball on a budget. That's the worst. I want to hopefully make some money in the draft if I make it and don't get hurt, get a couple dollars in my pocket and just go do what I want with it.

"Going on spring break as a college student, I only can spend what, two- and three-hundred bucks? That's just a plane ticket. There was no use in going on spring break for me.

"So me and my boy Kendall (Moore) and Malik (Zaire) we just ran out and ran some hills and stuff."

As for his plans prior to summer vacation, Nix noted, "Just keep doing what I've been doing. Doing what coach Kelly and (defensive line) coach (Mike) Elston and coach (Bob) Diaco tell me to do, on the field, and in the classroom, just keep doing what I do. The Louis Nix way, I don't know how to explain it."

Regarding the value of a defensive lineman redshirting

"I think it helps a lot. Especially on the line, because guys are pretty much stronger than an ox. You can't just go out there and get destroyed.

"I think his situation was better," Nix said specifically of 2012 freshman redshirt Jarron Jones. "At least he got to go to the games. Me, I had to sit back in the dorms during Thanksgiving (2010) by myself, nobody on campus while we played USC in Cali -- so that sucked.

"I didn't even get to go to Yankee Stadium. He got to go to Ireland at least. He got the good end of that one. But I think it helps, you look at things, you need to evaluate and get better with your speed and your strength and come back and show everybody that you can play. So I think its a good thing.

"I would have liked to go with the team, to be honest."

On his brand of motivation and emerging leaders

Available for interviews previous to Nix's session was redshirt-freshman defensive end Jarron Jones. Jones noted Nix uses tough love on him, or more accurate the phrase: "You suck!" as a form of motivation.

"I say that to a lot of people. Its just tough love," Nix admitted. "I love my guys. I'm not the guy on the sideline that says, 'Let's go guys!"

"(It's) 'Suck this (stuff) up and lets beat their ass…' That's the type of guy I am. I'm not the nice one, I'm the type of guy that says a lot of stuff just to get in someone's head and make them say, 'I don't' suck.'

With Manti Te'o and host of graduating seniors no longer in the mix, the 2013 Irish have the potential to feel a void of leadership. Nix took time to note a few who's stepped to fill that necessary role already this spring.

"You see guys like (safety) Matthias Farley and (cornerback) Bennett Jackson, they're the more verbal guys. And (quarterback) Everett Golson as well. They're the guys picking up the slack from last year, you can see them (emerging) on the offensive end too. Everett breaks the team down better as well. I think its a big improvement from last year. I like seeing stuff like that."

Almost as much as the media likes seeing Nix's name on the interview list…


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