Q&A: Louis Nix

Senior nose guard Louis Nix sat down with the local media last night to discuss his season-ending surgery, plans for Senior Day, the future, and playing in pain throughout the 2013 campaign.

Q: What got you to this point to take the plunge and get the surgery on your meniscus?

Nix: "For me it was hard on me. I didn't think about it a week ago this way. Coming off the Pitt game I thought I did a pretty good job. I had one little (time when I) felt real hurt during that game but I came back throughout the week, it was painful, then just communicated with the doctors, told them how I felt, got treatment going and going, but it continued to hurt.

"Dr. (Brian) Ratigan, he did a good job of staying with me. Him and Dr. James Andrews from Florida, got a second opinion on it, and both of them thought it would be best just to get the surgery now, despite me wanting to play still. They think it's best for my health."

Q: This has got to be killing you with your dad coming up this weekend.

"My mom, she was not as upset. My dad, it would have been great for him to see me play for the first time in South Bend. It's hard for me because me, I love to play, especially for my team. I'll play through a lot. My dad going down with a heart attack last year, I played through. I tried to battle through the Pitt game. I battled for my teammates. I played hard for them. This hurts me because I can't do anything. At this point I'm gonna try and be the biggest cheerleader on the sideline, support my guys."

Q: When did they say you'll be 100 percent again?

"They said it will be a few weeks, six-plus. That's just to get back to moving. It will be another couple weeks to actually get my quad all the way healthy. I'll be out for the next two games and the bowl game. I'll just be rooting for my guys and supporting the team. I can't go out to practices, the doc said it's not good for me to be out moving around. I just go in the locker room and just wait around, hang with my guys and be there for them."

Q: Will you be on the sidelines for the game? "They said it wouldn't be good to be outside, be freezing. I'll probably be inside, but I'll definitely be at the game."

Q: So you'll be up (in the press box) helping us write our stories? "If y'all need some help man, y'all do a great job."

Q: You're a great quote. "Am I?"

Q: How tough is that, that you won't even be able to be out on the field?

"That's tough too, because I love being on the sideline. I love the energy at Notre Dame Stadium. I know a lot of people do. Just being out there is exciting. It won't be the same being in the locker room. But my guys know and everybody knows why. I'm with them in spirit. Hopefully I'm just gonna try and have somebody in there with me jumping up and down during the game."

Q: What are the emotions going to be for that senior walk now?

"My mom's happy about. All she does it talk about it. My dad is happy about it. He's never seen snow. He's never been here. We're just ecstatic. I'm happy for them because they get this opportunity to share something special with me, being at this great university. They know it turned my life around. I had a lot growing up, lot of issues, things that could have happened to me that didn't. I chose to come here and it's changed my life for the best. That's a special moment just for my whole family."

Q: Does this close the door on you coming back next year or has that door already been closed?

"Realistically it's still a big decision now. I haven't thought about it. I'm just thinking about getting healthy, getting my rehab, finish my season of Breaking Bad. You know, just cheering on my team."

Q: How far are you into it?

"I'm on Season Four now. It's getting real good. I was kind of upset I didn't get to meet Hank (actor Dean Norris, South Bend native) when he was on the sideline a couple games ago."

Q: What will you consider when you do decide on next year?

"I don't know what to consider. This is a great place. Great university. It's done a lot for my life. I feel like if I did come back it would still do numerous things for me and help me out. There's a lot of choices on both sides, but at this time I'm not even thinking about it. I just want my guys to go out there and play and I just want to be supportive."

Q: Does the injury affect your NFL decision one way or another? "I don't think so. Like I said, I'm not even thinking about NFL or anything like that. I'm just thinking about getting healthy and beating BYU."

Q: When's the right time to think about it?

"I don't even know. I've never been in this situation where I've had to make two big decisions. But I don't think either decision is wrong. Who wouldn't want to be at Notre Dame. I feel like you guys wish you could be here right now instead of having a real job. It's a great place. I enjoy it. Every day I enjoy all my experiences. My highs, my lows here. Sometimes I even enjoy the snow. It's hard to believe, but I think there's two sides to it but right now I'm just thinking about being here with my teammates, my rehab and getting back to walking better."

Q: You had the surgery today? "This morning."

Q: How do you feel? It first I was like I don't feel anything, I'm going to be all right. Then I started walking on it and I'm sore. I need my meds."

Q: Are you going to be able to go to Stanford?

"I don't think they think it's going to be a good idea. I'm just going with what Dr. Ratigan said. He did a good job with the whole process. The knee issue has been bothering me all year and he's been great with me. It got to the point where I couldn't go any more.

"I want to thank Dr. Ratigan so much because they stay on us about these issues. He thought about my health more than anything. Despite me wanting to keep pushing, he thought it would be a good idea. We all just came to the conclusion that it would be."

Q: What was the point where you knew you had to do this? When was it? What hit you? What was the trigger?

"When I got back to the Pitt game I really wasn't thinking about it. It was just, 'Let's just go out there and ball. Don't think about it hurting.' When people mention your leg, I tell them don't even tell me about it. I don't even want to think that I have it. That's not how I play ball. Then the week went on, me walking to class, me being in class, teachers noticing I had to get up, I had to stand up because my leg wasn't comfortable at a 90-degree angle.

"I couldn't sleep because of it. It's been like that all year, but it worsened. At that point, at this point of this week doing weight training and stuff I just knew. I had to tell them that it's been bothering me. We got a second MRI, got a second opinion from James Andrews and that's when we all decided it would be a great idea."

Q: When do you think you actually tore the meniscus? You mentioned that you've been feeling pain all year.

"We don't really know. I thought it was just I hit it, it's hurt, go back in. Back in high school they say walk it off. That's basically what I did, I walked it off. I wasn't even concerned about it. Ratigan, he noticed. He started to communicate. Me being an athlete, I don't want to seem like I'm soft. When I started communicating, that's when they started taking the problem seriously. That's why I'm so happy they did, we learned that it was torn or whatever. We got right on it. That's what it is now."

Q: Was the tendonitis an issue at all?

"That issue's been covered. I've gotten my MRI and that looks way better. It's done wonders. That doesn't hurt at all. It's just the meniscus issue now. We got it taken care of. It's all about rehabbing now."

Q: Are your parents here now?

"Yes, my mom's here now. She will probably come over and help my clean up and talk to me and tell me she loves me."

Q: And cook for you? "I can't do that, I've gotta eat right now. No cooking for me."

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