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Notre Dame Football

Thanksgiving Means A Great Deal to Notre Dame Football

November 25, 2021

It's a big day for the 10-1 Fighting Irish. 

Notre Dame will practice early on Thursday and head to San Francisco for Saturday's regular-season finale with Stanford. 

However, there is business to take care of between practice and the flight to California, especially for the guys in the trenches. 

"We were talking about this earlier when we were walking off from walk-through," stated offensive lineman Josh Lugg. "We were trying to explain it to the freshmen. There was a Lou Holtz quote about if you've never been here, you can't explain it. 

"Well, Thanksgiving dinner, if you've never seen it, it's hard to explain how great it is at Notre Dame. We do it at the Morris Inn. It's just a beautiful spread. The green bean casserole is pretty good. I think my mom's is better, but it's really good. They have really good turkey and I don't know where they get their turkey from, but it's really good. I'm a big fan of stuffing. If you have some good stuffing, it's a good meal." 

Captain Kurt Hinish is similar to Lugg as he's a veteran of Thanksgiving dinner at Notre Dame.

"The Morris Inn has great food over there," said Hinish. "The green bean casserole is pretty elite. I can get into it and talk about it all day. 

"I love Thanksgiving and I love eating food. Look at me and you can tell that."  

Cornerback TaRiq Bracy is thankful he gets to return home this weekend to play in front of friends and family, but he's also grateful for the people he's met in South Bend. 

"Just my teammates and coaches," Bracy said. "It's a big family. Even though I'm not going to be with my immediate family, it's still family to me and I'm most grateful for that." 

Vyper Isaiah Foskey will also return to The Bay this weekend and having a ton of family and friends brings a smile to his face. 

"Basically, just having my whole family and friends back home watching me play," stated Foskey. "I saw my friends a couple months ago in person, but the last time we played football together was three years ago." 

The brotherhood is brought up a lot around The Gug, but it's a real thing and on holidays, it's on display as the players don't get to spend time with their families. 

"I'm thankful for the guys I do this with and what we do is pretty hard day-to-day," explained linebacker Bo Bauer. "At the end of the day, you do all this for your brothers." 

Sophomore Ramon Henderson has seen a lot of positive change in his life and that's something he's thankful for this year. 

"Settling into a mindset, growing into a man," explained Henderson. "I still think of myself as a kid still, but at the end of the day, I see myself growing and doing things now I wouldn't be doing last year. I see my body changing. I'm 190-195 now and when I came here, I was 160. 

"I see myself doing a lot of things I know I wouldn't have done before. Talking now on the field, I know I wasn't talking before. Just a whole bunch of different things I can see in myself change. Just coming here is a great choice with school and football. It's a well-developing institution into your manhood." 

And while Lugg will enjoy the food on Thursday, the Pittsburgh native will also do some reflecting as those around him mean a great deal to him. 

"This team and when I say team, I don't specifically mean the players," Lugg explained. "I mean the players, coaches, training staff getting me healthy. The academic advisors putting me on a path that's been rather successful. 

"With Thanksgiving and it's the time to be grateful and reflect on that. With it being my fifth-year here, I think it's even more so a time of gratitude. I'm here today because of not anything specific I've done, but because of what other people have helped me accomplish."

Junior running back Kyren Williams also is thankful for everyone in the program who has helped him during his three years at Notre Dame.  

"I would really say everyone that's in the program," said Williams. "My teammates, the faculty, staff, trainers, equipment managers. I feel everyone I have a relationship with has helped me develop into the person I am now, especially here at Notre Dame. They've all helped me get to where I am now and I'm forever grateful for them." 

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