DAN CHERVANICK: Inspiration comes from many places for Chervanick
Published: Friday, November 18, 2005
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 11:09
Dan Chervanick is only one man.
But the senior defensive lineman is also an accounting honor student and active volunteer who makes time for a social life outside the football team.
For Chervanick, it's hard to believe he's reached the end of his time on the storied fields of Notre Dame Stadium.
"Right now I'm just trying to soak it up," he said. "I'm enjoying it every minute. This is one of the greatest opportunities any person could ever have - to be here at Notre Dame and play for this team."
Although he's played primarily on the scout teams, Chervanick saw time at the Insight Bowl last season and this season against BYU and Navy. He considers the highlight of his career to be recording two tackles against Navy on Nov. 12 in a 42-21 Irish win.
Playing for a scout team is a different sort of challenge for Chervanick, the valedictorian of Holy Name High School in Reading, Pa., who was named to the all-academic team as well as all-league offensive tackle and defensive interior lineman in Berks County, Pa.
"You don't specialize in one thing - you're kind of a jack-of-all-trades," Chervanick said. "You know how to do everything all right so you've got to be able to adapt."
Although Chervanick has played in several games, he focuses on practices in order to make his impact on the team.
"From my perspective, the way I look at it, my game day isn't necessarily Saturday," he said. "My game day is Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday at practice. That's the attitude I take to it."
There has been more to Chervanick's experience than what happens on the field.
"The best experience I've had is getting to meet all the guys on the team and really developing friendships - that's been one of the one of the greatest things," he said. "It's those guys you went through the hard times, the training camp, the early-morning lifting, when you're going through that it's like going through a war together. You really bond together and the bonds I've made through that, that's the best thing about it."
Aside from bonding with the team, coaches have had a big influence on Chervanick's life, especially former defensive line coach Greg Mattison, who Chervanick said "took me under his wing."
Another important influence has been family. His parents drive out from eastern Pennsylvania for the home games - he calls them "his rock" through the more difficult times.
Chervanick's brother Mike was a walk-on at the University of Pittsburgh and encouraged him to try out for the Notre Dame squad. Chervanick turned down an offer to play football at Georgetown to come to South Bend and made the team at the end of his freshman year.
"I wanted to come here and see how the academics were," Chervanick said. "It was college, I didn't know what to expect … [I thought] if it's a workload I can handle I'm going to go out for the team. And I went out and I made it and it's been a great experience."
Academics have been a priority for Chervanick, who interned in public accounting in New York last summer and plans to pursue an MSA degree.
"You learn to multitask and manage your time so quickly when you're on such a regimented schedule … I'm two weeks ahead of everything in terms of thinking," he said. "You're always thinking ahead, planning ahead and just trying to stay ahead of the game, keep your head above water."
The former resident of Stanford, who now lives off-campus with friends from the dorm that include a cheerleader and one of the head football managers, realized the importance of having a social life outside of football and academics.
"At the same time with the work, you have to balance your social life too," he said. "It's an important part of school and I've definitely been able to go out and have a good time with my friends and kind of separate school from football and socializing, enjoying what Notre Dame has to have outside of all of that."
His friends off the team have never been impressed with his status as a Notre Dame football player, Chervanick said.
"They're always keeping me grounded, and that's a good thing to have," he said.