Story Poster
Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Captain Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa Wants to Finish Strong

December 30, 2021

Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa has seen many ups and downs over the last 11 months. 

The senior defensive lineman was named captain of a playoff contender, adjusted to a new position and defensive coordinator, but then went through heartbreak with the unexpected passing of his father in August. 

Tagovailoa-Amosa embraced it all with a smile and will end his collegiate career at the Fiesta Bowl, a game he's more than grateful to be playing in. 

I'm just blessed to be in this position," said Tagovailoa-Amosa. "It's been a fun season. Starting off at the beginning of the year having a new defensive coordinator, it was exciting to learn a whole new defense. It's just been really exciting this entire season, the journey that it's been, things that took place throughout this year.

"There's some loss in the season, but all I can say is I'm just grateful and blessed to be here. We're excited for the Fiesta Bowl, yeah, just excited to be here." 

The Hawaii native could have left for the NFL a year ago, but he returned to school to improve his draft stock despite hearing whispers Notre Dame would be rebuilding. 

Tagovailoa-Amosa and his teammates used the speculation as motivation and finished the 2021 campaign 11-1. 

"I think the culture is what really puts Notre Dame on top," explained Tagovailoa-Amosa. "You come in here and you just have to leave your own principles at the door. What you have got to understand is Notre Dame has tradition and culture that's built, that you have to take in and understand.

“That's what makes Notre Dame successful, is there's a culture here built upon trust, upon love, and above all, about the brotherhood. You will hear us talk about the brotherhood day in and day out because that's truly what it's about. It's about playing the sport that we love for your brothers, and it's all about the team. That's really what it is." 

It didn't always look pretty as the Irish struggled to find consistency on both sides of the ball. The defense figured it out and the answer was to keep it simple. 

"The way this defense works, the way we like to run with this defense is just keep it simple and let's play fast, free, and physical," stated Tagovailoa-Amosa. "Before we go out on every drive, we always huddle up and we tell each other we set the tone and we have the perfect play calls to go out there and make plays." 

Tagovailoa-Amosa pointed to the Wisconsin game as the moment where things fully changed for the defense. 

It was a dominant performance and set the tone for the remainder of the fall. 

"I think going into the Wisconsin game, that really set the tone for our defense. The biggest thing was we understood that we just had to be physical. We had to play fast and play free. The way our defense is structured is just effort, effort and attitude. 

"The way we play is everybody has to get to the ball. And the way you are going to see us play is wherever the ball is, you are going to see 11 guys swarming. You will see 11 blue jerseys swarming and 11 gold helmets swarming. That's the attitude and mindset that we have. The ball is not down until the carrier is down.  

"Coach Marcus Freeman has always emphasized 'Through it, not to it.' That's pretty much been our mindset this whole year, is just flying around and getting to the ball."

Tagovailoa-Amosa knows a Fiesta Bowl win would set a positive tone for the Freeman Era, but it might mean more to those who rebuilt the program following the 2016 season. 

"I think the biggest goal for us is sending our seniors home the right way," said Tagovailoa-Amosa. "There's a lot of guys in here that have helped build this program to put it in the place where it is right now. 

"Guys like Kurt [Hinish], Drew [White], Josh Lugg, all those guys, Avery Davis. Been here with these guys, been here at this place with these guys for five years. It would be great to just send these guys home with a W." 

New Era Deal: A Year of ISD for Just $49.95 for New Customers!

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.