Nuss's South Bend Trip Was Big For Family

Andrew Nuss got out of class and checked his cell phone messages. The Ashburn, Va., product and future Notre Dame defensive lineman had one from his sister Jennifer saying she was fine and with her boyfriend. Nuss had no idea what she was talking about.

Andrew Nuss got home and turned on the television, and staring him in the face was the tragic Virginia Tech massacre. His sister is a junior at the school.

"She had a tough time," Nuss said. "She knew a couple people that were killed. One of her classmates that sits next to her in class was shot. Her best friend was shot in the hand."

Nuss's sister came home the next day, and that weekend, accompanied Andrew and the parents to South Bend for the Blue-Gold game, April 21, capping off Notre Dame's spring camp. Being on Notre Dame's campus helped soothe the scary situation the family had just been through.

"It was good for her to get away from everything that happened," Nuss said.

Already antsy about getting to Notre Dame, the 6-foot-5.5, 295-pound Nuss had a fabulous time at his June destination.

"It was really tight," he said. "Just being closer and closer to coming to Notre Dame I think."

When Nuss arrives at Notre Dame, he's not sure exactly what position he'll be playing along the defensive line. So when he got his playbook, Nuss began to study both the defensive end positions and nose tackle. He's had experience at those spots with his Stone Bridge High team running a 3-5 formation.

"It's more condensed, more terminology," Nuss said of the Irish playbook. "The book they gave me has offensive terminology and what they call, and then it has the basic defensive formations that go along with it."

Nuss predominately played defensive end this past season where he had 30 tackles.

"It doesn't really bother me where I play," Nuss said. "I'm a quick learner, that's what my coach has always said."

The Irish coaches are hoping so as well, with there being a lot of questions along the defensive line heading into fall camp.

Nuss has also been hitting the training program that was sent to him.

"I think it works more on your legs and base," he said. "After looking at the book, my squat went up a lot, I'm close to squatting 500 pounds now. Before I was not that great, I was in the mid-threes. I got to 400 in two weeks. Right now, my max is at least 475, I can get 430 five times."

A freak injury in a basketball game this season resulted in Nuss breaking his fourth metacarpal bone in his hand. He thinks he might have hit somebody in the head.

Nuss wasn't able to bench press for a month and is now getting back in rhythm with that.

"Doing it more and more, it's starting to come back to me," Nuss said. "I'm not worried about it."

Nuss is also not worried about starting at Notre Dame right away.

"I'm not trying to think about that right now. I'm trying to work hard, and I have respect for all the older guys. I'm trying to earn my way in there, and if I do well enough, hopefully I can."

One of the highlights of the trip was just getting a chance to hang out with his future teammates.

"We have an interesting group of guys," Nuss said. "Nobody is a real showboat. We are great guys that want to win, and I think that's special about us.

"I think we're going to be a good team. I think people are going to be doubting us, but we're going to be hungry enough to want to win." Top Stories