Notre Dame Football

Captain Role Surreal For Chris Finke

August 11, 2019
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To earn a scholarship at Notre Dame is quite the accomplishment, but it’s been done before. To earn a scholarship and earn meaningful playing time is even more of a rarity.
 
Chris Finke is officially in rare air as the former walk-on was named a captain by his team on Saturday.
 
“It feels great,” Finke said following Saturday’s practice. “It's a tremendous honor. We've had a long line of really great leaders who have been captains for the Notre Dame football team. If you would have told me when I came here as a walk-on freshman I'd be a captain, I don't know if I would have believed you. It's a surreal moment and tremendous opportunity to lead this team. We got a great group of guys. I'm really excited about it.”
 
Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly announced the captains by playing a video with former Irish captains stated the names of the 2019 captains. Former walk-on Austin Webster said Finke’s name, which was a cool moment for the senior receiver.
 
“Coach told us this morning,” stated Finke. “We had a video that had a bunch of former captains giving messages to us and saying our names. It was a nice video for us.”
 
Finke also spoke on the first time he met Brian Kelly and he figured it was a quick meet and greet. However, the moment would shape the next five years for the former Alter standout.
 
“I was out of school that day visiting the University of Dayton for a football visit,” recalled Finke. “I had gotten back by the end of the school day because we had basketball practice. Coach Kelly and Coach (Mike) Elston were there to see Nick Coleman. Ed Domsitz, my head football coach in high school, brought me over and introduced me to Coach Kelly. I thought he was just going to tell me to say hi, and Coach Kelly, hit me with a 'How'd you like to walk on?' I was kind of stunned.
 
“I gave an answer I'm not proud of. He said, ‘Would you like to play big-time football? I said, ‘I think so.’ Luckily, he still gave me a chance after that and let me apply over the weekend. Then let me come in and walk on.”
 
The Ohio native not only earned the honor of being captain by his play on the field, but his leadership and ability to connect with every position group on the team. Kelly said Finke had over 70 percent of the vote from the team to be captain, which is a significant reflection of his status in the program.
 
“That means a lot to me,” Finke said. “Knowing so many of my teammates think I’m cut out for the job. It’s a big job, but knowing I have their faith and trust mean a lot to me. It’s a lot to live up to, so I’m looking forward to it.”
 
Finke will now look to lead the Irish offense further than the College Football Playoff appearance a year ago and it starts with catching balls from a hungry Ian Book.  
 
“It’s the taste we all have in our mouth after playing in that playoff game and coming up short,” said Finke. ”Ian knows he’s a top-notch talent in college football and saw he could lead our team to the College Football Playoff, but he knows it will take a little more to get the job done.
 
“Ian has that hunger in him and he’s starving for it. He’s put in the work in the offseason.”

 
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