Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Adds Six Walk-Ons

February 4, 2017
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Notre Dame welcomed 21 scholarship players to the program on Wednesday, including adding three on National Signing Day. The Irish weren’t done just yet, as Notre Dame will add six walk-ons to the program.

Colin Grunhard – OL – Bishop Miege (Kans.)

The Notre Dame legacy picked the Irish on January 25th and shortly after saw his teammate Jafar Armstrong commit to the Irish. The 6-foot-1, 270-pounder will come to South Bend as an offensive line, the same as his father Tim Grunhard.

The Grunhard family will have a crew at Notre Dame, Colin and his twin sister will join his brother at Notre Dame.

Grunhard chose the Irish over a scholarship offer from Air Force and a walk-on spot at North Carolina State.



Patrick Pelini – Safety – Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (Ohio)
Yep, it’s that Pelini. The 6-foot-1, 160-pounder chose the Irish over North Dakota State, Illinois State, Air Force and his father’s team, Youngstown State.

The son of college football coach, Bo Pelini, visited Notre Dame for Irish Invasion and then returned for a game this fall. Pelini recorded 40 tackles, four interceptions and two touchdowns as a senior.

Cardinal Mooney is the same program that produced former Notre Dame defensive backs Kyle and Dan McCarthy.



JD Carney – Quarterback – Cathedral Catholic (Calif.)
Carney is no stranger to South Bend, as he is another Notre Dame legacy. The son of former Irish kicker will walk-on at Notre Dame and will be joined by his high school teammate Jordan Genmark Heath.

Cathedral Catholic ran the table in 2016 by going 15-0 and won the Division 1-AA title in the CIF State Bowl Championships.

Carney and Genmark Heath were teammates of Morrison Mirer, son of Rick Mirer; Tate Hayes, son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Haynes; Jake Lynch, son of NFL great John Lynch; and Jordan Allen, the son of NFL great Eric Allen.

Cameron Ekanayake – ATH – Edwardsburg (Mich.)
The local product chose Notre Dame over Ivy League programs and MIT. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder played just about every skill position on both sides of the field over his prep career, but Ekanayake will start out on the defensive side of the ball for the Irish.

Ekanayake plans to major in Business, but also complete Pre-Med requisites during his undergrad in hopes of getting to Harvard Med or John Hopkins Med to get his medical degree.



John Mahoney – Safety – Valley High School (Iowa)
The 6-foot, 199-pounder chose Notre Dame over the likes Cornell, Colgate and his parent's alma mater, Iowa State. The Iowa native has a 4.1 GPA and scored a 35 on his ACT.

Mahoney brings the wood and it’s clear to see why Notre Dame is giving him a shot. His physical nature is something needed on the practice field, but those guys tend to see the field at some point at Notre Dame.

Mahoney was a First-Team All-State selection.



Jack Henige – Tight End – Fenwick (Ill.)
The 6-foot-5, 205-pounder wraps up Notre Dame’s preferred walk-on class and won’t travel too far. The Chicago native will head to Notre Dame to play tight end over a scholarship offer from San Diego.

Henige was named Academic All-State and All CCL in 2016. The Illinois native helped led his team to an 11-2 record last fall.

Discussion from...

Notre Dame Adds Six Walk-Ons

GulfCoastIrish
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Who's in the picture?
bklynirish
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Mahoney, who could have played at iowa st, is esp intruguing, at least as special teamer.
Bentwaterirish
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These write ups reveal 6 outstanding young men. Welcome to ND!
Gary
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Bentwaterirish said:

These write ups reveal 6 outstanding young men. Welcome to ND!
Amen !
UpperMI
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GulfCoastIrish said:

Who's in the picture?
Jack Henige
ndman
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Some of these guys are going to play, maybe special teams, but they will play. Mahoney might even get a shot at actually playing safety down the road. He has good size and speed, and he's not afraid to hit. Matt or Jamie, I would love to hear your take on Mahoney.
mattfreeman
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ndman said:

Some of these guys are going to play, maybe special teams, but they will play. Mahoney might even get a shot at actually playing safety down the road. He has good size and speed, and he's not afraid to hit. Matt or Jamie, I would love to hear your take on Mahoney.
I am not sure he is 6-foot, 199 as he says or is listed at.

He will hit ya though.
irishdude24
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That Mahoney kid is just reckless! That was the only highlight reel I could make it through. That puts fear in an opponent
irishtony
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In the picture....could be a twin to Ian Book.
gautrp
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Well, it looks like the team GPA will get a boost if they count walk on GPA's.
Nick DuBose
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These guys are valuable to your program, not just because they may see the field, but often have a great influence on a team sharing a common rooting interest..does wonders for moral at times
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