Jabbie Trying to Play Himself into the Mix

Junior Jabbie bumped into his former teammates from time to time during the school year. That and walking by Notre Dame Stadium was the closest he got to the Irish football team. He missed them and everything about the gridiron. So when the Parlin, N.J. product got the news that he could return to the team beginning fall camp, it was a very special day.

"It was just overwhelming and just very exciting," Jabbie said. "I was just happy because it's something I love to do and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it again."

Jabbie wasn't part of the program last season, and obviously part of the spring. Happy to be back in pads, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back had to get used to the grind of football. "It's just exciting to be back on the field," Jabbie began. "It's been awhile since I've actually been on the field, so I'm trying to now get back into the rhythm of things and just getting into the flow of everything. It's pretty exciting now."

The last time Jabbie played in a game was at The Hun School in 2003. There, he played running back and cornerback, accumulating 1,200 all-purpose yards and scoring 18 touchdowns. He also intercepted four passes and came to Notre Dame to play in the secondary.

Jabbie didn't see any action his freshman season, and asked to be move to running back. Now he is trying to work off the rust.

"I feel like there is a lot of kinks I need to tune up, and there is a lot of things I need to improve and get better," Jabbie explained. "But I think with time, things will come." In just one week of fall camp, Jabbie has improved enough to be noticed by the coaches. "He's just started to earn himself some extra reps," head coach Charlie Weis said. "He came in and he wasn't in very good shape. Rust I think is partially fair. Being in not very good shape, you can do something about that. He's starting to earn some reps. I'm not saying he's moved to the top of the depth chart, but he's actually playing himself into some consideration."

Running back is one of the deeper positions on the team with Darius Walker back, and freshmen Munir Prince, James Aldridge and Luke Schmidt in the fold. "I had a couple of running backs in front of me, and I've been doing a lot of show team stuff. I'm just getting reps anywhere."

While trying to catch his breath.

"I was very tired but it's all starting to come back," Jabbie said. "I was conditioning a lot in the mornings, and now I'm on my way to starting to get back. I'm starting to get in a little better shape than I was starting camp."

Weis also said that Jabbie could play himself into the mix at kick returner. He has also gotten work in every other aspect of special teams, but nothing on the first team. "I'm just going out there everyday to compete my best, and I'm just trying my best to contribute to the team and try to help out in any shape or form possible." Jabbie is just happy to be dressing every day with those same guys he used to run into on campus. "Everybody was happy to see me, and I got a warm welcome coming back," Jabbie said with a smile. "So it just completed everything for me."

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