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Friday, June 14, 2024
The Observer

Nic Weishar's hard work pays off in senior year for Notre Dame

The Irish fake the run and sophomore quarterback Ian Book passes to a wide open Nic Weishar. Touchdown.

His second touchdown of his career the first one coming against Temple several weeks prior. Weishar used one word to describe his touchdowns: awesome.

Irish senior tight end Nic Weishar celebrates scoring a touchdown against Wake Forest in Notre Dame's 48-37 win on Nov. 4.
Irish senior tight end Nic Weishar celebrates scoring a touchdown against Wake Forest in Notre Dame's 48-37 win on Nov. 4.

In his senior year, tight end Nicholas “Nic” Weishar has finally earned his spot on the field for the Irish. In only ten game this season, Weishar has matched his career receptions and has caught the first two touchdowns of his career, most recently against Wake Forest.

“It was an unbelievable experience,” Weishar said on scoring against the Demon Deacons. “Obviously there’s nothing like getting into the end zone it’s really cool, and having all your teammates come hug you after is an awesome experience.”

But the Chicago native’s journey to catching touchdowns in front of thousands of fans wasn’t a direct one.

Before committing to the Irish, Weishar was an Army All-American and four-star tight end at Marist High School. Weishar recalls developing his love for football from his two older brothers, and Weishar committed to Notre Dame over the likes of Ohio State, Oklahoma and Michigan.

“Notre Dame was just the perfect fit for me,” Weishar said. “I’m pretty close to home. I’m from Chicago, so not too far of a drive for everyone to come to a game. Just the combination of the athletic tradition and academics as well is what really attracted me here.”

Weishar redshirted his first season at Notre Dame, and started off his college career as a valuable member of the scout team while he strived to get better with the hopes of one day seeing the field. He remembers his redshirt year as difficult, but looking back he also realizes it was beneficial to him in the long run.

“It was definitely hard especially coming from high school where you know you’ve been making a lot of plays in the last four years. You’re the big man on campus, but coming in here you have to get humbled a little bit. I think every freshman needs that,” Weishar said. “I kind of took the mindset that I was on the scout team and I wanted to make our own defenses as good as they could be. For me personally, I wanted to get better playing against great defenses — every practice helped me get better, and obviously the weight room helped me make great strides as well. It was a really beneficial year for me.”

When enrolling in Notre Dame almost four years ago, Weishar created goals that he had hoped to accomplish over his Notre Dame career.

“My goals on the field were to just be doing what I can to find a way on the field anyway possible. My freshman year I ended up getting redshirted and the year after that I was able to play a lot of tight end, and that was a great thing for thing for me. Obviously, the goal is to win a National Championship has always been a goal too,” Weishar explained. “Off the field would be to continue to grow as a man, and do well in school. It’s been good I think most of my goals have been reached so far. So it’s been a great time.”

Weishar is far removed from his redshirt days, as he has contributed on offense for the last three seasons, but he believes he will never fully get used playing in front of thousands of spectators on a weekly basis.

“It’s awesome, and it’s hard to describe. It’s kind of the feeling when you’re out there you’re not really thinking about it, but it when you re-watch the game on tv you’re thinking ‘Holy Cow! A million people just saw that.’ It’s a surreal feeling for sure,” Weishar said.

It’s no coincidence that Weishar is thriving in his senior year, especially since the hiring of offensive coordinator Chip Long, who is known for his two tight end system. Weishar admires the presence Long has brought to the locker room in his lone season with the Irish, and as a senior he’s finally embracing his leadership role within his position.

“It’s been awesome. The offense does feature a lot of two tight end sets which is something pretty cool and unique about us,“ he said. “[Long's] come in and brought a different culture to the locker room. You know it’s a lot of fun listening to him, and everyone respects him so much, but he also knows how to have fun in the locker room too. It’s a pretty cool combination between everybody.

“This year has been great, obviously Durham [Smythe] and I, the older guys in the room, so to say we have a little bit of a leadership role there, bringing the younger guys Brock [Wright] and Cole [Kmet] in and taking them under our wing and leading and showing them what a Notre Dame tight end is supposed to be. It’s been an awesome experience and obviously Alize [Mack] has been around too. We have a great group of guys.”

In the spring, Weishar will graduate a with a degree in finance from Mendoza College of Business. Currently, he has a fifth year of eligibility stemming from him redshirting his freshman year. If he were to take a fifth year he would apply for Notre Dame MBA program to further the possibility of a future in finance. The senior hasn’t ruled out the possibility of going to the NFL, and would love to continue his football career at a higher level.

As his career comes to a close, Weishar only hopes he's made a mark here at Notre Dame.

“I want my legacy to be someone who was a great teammate, a man of integrity and just someone that people could always count on to either brighten their day or lead them in the right direction.”