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Sunday, June 23, 2024
The Observer

Ketterer’s versatility helped Notre Dame prepare and execute

Senior running back Chase Ketterer awaits a kickoff during a game against Clemson at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 4.

For Chase Ketterer, Saturday’s game against Wake Forest represents a fitting conclusion to the Indiana native’s football career. Ketterer, a senior running back who also contributes to the scout team, grew up in La Porte, Indiana, only about 30 minutes away from Notre Dame. Ketterer had a standout high school career, rushing for over 5,400 yards and throwing for over 1,400.

“For me, it’s always kind of been a dream to come here,” Ketterer said. “So when I got the opportunity, I just took it.”

Ketterer signed with Notre Dame as a preferred walk-on, practicing with the team upon his arrival in 2020. His time in the football program has been an up-and-down journey. After appearing in two games in 2021, including the Fiesta Bowl, Ketterer did not see the field in 2022, battling injuries. However, this year, he played in contests against Tennessee State, Central Michigan, USC and Pittsburgh. So far, he has one reception and one carry, totaling 7 yards.

Ketterer was pleased to see the playing field, even though initially, he didn‘t expect to.

“As a walk-on, it’s kind of tough and I was never really expecting to play,” he said. “So you just continue to work, and I eventually got on the field. So [it] just shows you have to work for what you want.”

In addition to his role as a backup running back and special teams player, Ketterer frequently plays a big role at practice. In high school, Ketterer ran a variation of the triple option. So for the past two seasons, when Notre Dame prepped for Navy, head coach Marcus Freeman relied on Ketterer for help. Leading up to that game, during practice, Ketterer served as scout team quarterback. In an interview with NDInsider, Freeman relayed his gratitude: “The look he’s been able to give us is invaluable. He’s been a huge part.”

Additionally, Ketterer is one in a small group of current FBS players with a carry, reception and tackle. In 2021, he made a special teams tackle against Navy during a kickoff.

However, Ketterer was quick to mention that the Notre Dame experience goes beyond the gridiron.

“I never anticipated coming here — or coming to college in general,” he said. "But everything that comes with a '4 for 40' slogan has been fulfilled.”

Upon graduation, Ketterer hopes to work in the sports business world. The finance major has previous experience interning at 3 Strand Sports & Entertainment, a Nashville-based sports agency. Before graduation, though, Ketterer is excited for what the rest of the season entails, especially the bowl game. His favorite football memory so far was winning the Gator Bowl last year. However, the humble Ketterer shifted his focus to the present.

“My goal right now is to finish off the season, win these last two and then hopefully, you know, go and win the bowl game,” Ketterer said.