Incoming Irish: Nic Weishar

It's easy to look at Nic Weishar now and say that he was built to be a football player.

The 6'2, 235 pound tight end out of Marist High School in Chicago fits the prototypical build for the position. But college football snuck up on Weishar. Before he started getting offers, he saw himself as just another high school athlete.

"I didn't know how good I was until I got my first offer," Weishar said. "I was more of a basketball player at the time and I just thought I was going to be a good high school player."

It is that basketball pedigree that aided him in honing his pass-catching skills and it is no surprise that he compares himself to New Orleans Saints tight end, Jimmy Graham, another convert from the hardwood. Notre Dame has become known for their conveyor belt of tight end talent with names like Fasano, Carlson, Rudolph, and Eifert well-known to modern NFL fans. If Weishar wants to emulate them, he has come to the right place.

"Notre Dame has a great tight end tradition and it seems like almost all of their tight ends get drafted," Weishar said. "They don't offer many tight ends so I felt really blessed when they gave me a chance."

The recruiting process was tough for Weishar, not just in picking where to go but also off the field. In October 2012 his older brother Andrew passed away after a battle with cancer and it changed Weishar's outlook away from football. Weishar was introduced to the sport by his brother in the second grade and he credits Andrew for helping him develop as a player.

Andrew was also his brother's biggest critic but although he isn't around to offer advice anymore, Weishar still keeps him in his mind and says he will play for his brother at Notre Dame.

"My brother passing away taught me to spend as much time with your loved ones as you can because you never know what could happen," Weishar said. "It was a very tough time for me and my family and I think about my brother before every game that I play.

Weishar has been working on a conditioning program set up by Coach (Paul) Longo this offseason and has been told by the coaches that if he performs well he will see the field this season. On top of all that, there will be the thrill of stepping out at Notre Dame Stadium for the first time.

"I just can't wait to play in front of 80,000 fans on national television every week," Weishar said. "The atmosphere was awesome when I was on the sideline last year and ever since I have been thinking about what it will be like to run out in front of that crowd."

When it came down to picking a college, Weishar narrowed it down to either Notre Dame or Michigan before eventually settling on the Irish. It is no shock then, when he picks out the Michigan game as one he is eagerly anticipating this season. Weishar enjoyed the scenario of having two big programs chasing after him but he could also see how the acclaim could result in a swollen ego.

"It is very cool to have two big programs coming after you and I can see how the attention could go to a person's head," Weishar said. "You have people coming up to you everyday telling you how great you are but I have a good group of friends and family supporting me so it wasn't hard to stay grounded."

Weishar plans on studying at the business school at Notre Dame and he is content in the choice he has made to attend the University. But that didn't stop some friends and family from interjecting their opinions on where he should have gone.

"In Chicago a lot of people love Notre Dame and come up to me on the street and shout ‘Go Irish', but I think a few of my family members would have preferred if I had chosen Michigan," Weishar said with a laugh. Top Stories