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Saturday, June 22, 2024
The Observer

Transfer Chris Bury’s hard work pays off as a senior walk-on

Chris Bury already has a college degree.

The senior tight end attended Stonehill College for three years and earned a Bachelor’s degree in computer science before transferring to Notre Dame.

He redshirted his freshman year at Stonehill because of a shoulder injury, but the New Hampshire native played the following two seasons at tight end. Bury transferred to Notre Dame to pursue a degree in computer engineering and to take advantage of the Engineering Dual-Degree Program, which allows a student to gain an engineering degree in two academic years. Bury has a job offer for after graduation, but is also considering the ESTEEM Program, if he learns that he has another year of eligibility left.

Kathryne Robinson | The Observer
Irish graduate student tight end Chris Bury stands with his teammates during the Alma Mater after Notre Dame’s 35-14 win over North Carolina State on Oct. 28.

Bury’s passion and commitment to school and sports were instilled in him at a young age, and have driven him throughout his football and academic careers.

“My dad always told me when I was a kid going to school and practice while everyone was out having fun in the summer, ‘You’re trying to do something different. You’re trying to be something great and in order to do that you have to do what most people aren’t willing to do,’” Bury said. “I always took that with me and I think about it in moments when I wish I were hanging out. It is a part of me now and it adds to my character.”

Bury suffered a torn labrum and rotator cuff in the second game of his senior year of high school. While he played through the injury during the season, he was later forced to undergo surgery.

“Since my injury was in high school, I had a lot of schools just stop talking to me,” he said. “I trusted in the plan that I was going to end up where I was supposed to end up. I just think it is important to go day by day, create your own opportunities and make the most of what is in front of you. You just have to keep pushing and, just as anything else, you can’t just quit when there’s a roadblock.”

Bury wanted to join the team immediately upon transferring, but since there wasn’t an open tryout for potential walk-ons until the following spring, he viewed the time off as beneficial even though it was not part of his initial plan.

“There wasn’t an open tryout the first year that I came here, but it was still something I wanted to do,” Bury said. “I saw it as an opportunity to have another year to prepare myself for the future because they told me that there would be a tryout the following spring. It was tough because I definitely wanted to be a part of it as soon as I could, but I just think you have to embrace the circumstances you’re given and make the most of it.”

Bury credits his high school coach with supporting him through throughout his extensive football career and looked forward to his visit for the Wake Forest game. From the injury, to playing at Stonehill and eventually walking-on at Notre Dame his coach has been by his side.

“He’s been a part of my process so much,” Bury said. “He went to a couple of my games at Stonehill. I’m excited more so for him to be a part of the tradition and experience the feeling of walking into the stadium”

Bury commented on Notre Dame’s rich tradition and the unwavering loyalty of its fan base.

“The tradition behind Notre Dame is so special,” he said. “The fans on gameday and outside our practices — it’s just such a big deal to me. It’s a really cool group to be a part of. The success we’ve had as a team and the guys I get to share that with are awesome. I do anything I can to help and I appreciate being able to ultimately help the team win games.”

Bury values hard work and resilience, and has tried to emulate that throughout his collegiate endeavors.

“I wanted to come here to try to show that the hard work does pay off,” he reflected. “You have to keep pushing through and trusting your process. A lot of people are taught in high school not to get their hopes up and to just play at any college level, especially for football. But to that, everyone can see that with taking risks, the reward can be great. The amount I have learned from both school and football and the networking opportunities this school provides now and in the future is something I want to leave behind to show that it is possible.”