Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) quarterback JD Carney is the latest Notre Dame walk-on and will look to follow in his father’s footsteps, as the 6-foot-, 160-pounder is the son of John Carney, the former Irish and NFL kicker.
The San Diego native camped at Notre Dame last summer and that’s when things got rolling.
“It started back in the summertime when I went out to Notre Dame with my father for a four-day football camp,” Carney told Irish Sports Daily. “I was able to work with Coach (Mike) Sanford and the other coaches. It was an awesome experience and things went really well.
“I was also able to take a tour of the FTT program (Film, Television, and Theatre) and I think I am going to head in that direction for my major.”
Notre Dame took the initiative to invite the family out for a game last fall and Carney was able to get back in the contact with the staff. After arriving in South Bend, Carney and his family quickly found out Notre Dame had plans for him.
“Once they got my transcripts, we wanted to take a visit for a game in November,” explained Carney. “I was able to meet up with Coach Sanford and talk to Dave Peloquin. They were excited when we spoke and it took off from there.
“We found out on that trip that Notre Dame was looking accept me and it was a huge blessing. I did receive the confirmation email from Notre Dame on the day we played in the State Championship game.”
Notre Dame has always been number one for me ever since I was little, despite the brainwashing my father has done.
As a legacy, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think Carney would have ended up in South Bend, but it was 100% his decision and also one of his goals.
“Notre Dame has always been number one for me ever since I was little, despite the brainwashing my father has done,” laughed Carney. “I have always been in love with the school from trips.
“When I was working with my counselors, they narrowed it down to Notre Dame being number one on my list. Fortunately, Notre Dame was the only school I had to apply to and I am blessed I got in. The Notre Dame faith-based education and being part of one of the highest institutions in the country is amazing. I get to continue my football career too. It’s a great opportunity.”
Carney won’t be alone when he arrives this summer, as his teammate Jordan Genmark Heath recently committed and signed with Notre Dame. The two have built a relationship over the last year and Carney is looking forward to playing with the four-star prospect for a few more years.
“I met Jordan last year when he came to Cathedral as a junior,” stated Carney. “Being from Sweden, he obviously was a very interesting figure on our team. He’s an awesome kid. I’ve been blessed to be teammates with him and I am so stoked he chose Notre Dame.
“Morrison Mirer (Son of Rick Mirer and Notre Dame LAX commit) and Jordan are awesome student-athletes and Notre Dame is going to love them. I am just excited to continue being teammates with Jordan in South Bend.”
Carney knows he heads to South Bend sooner than later and has already begun training for his arrival at Notre Dame.
“I’ve been working out with my father and a few buddies of mine that are also committed to play football at the collegiate level,” Carney stated. “I have also been working with Cree Morris. I have been training with him since middle school. He’s a quarterback coach and has helped me reach where I am today.
“I am going to train and try to gain as much weight as I can. I have track season coming up. I am a hurdler so I do the 110m and 300m hurdles. I am going to be doing that to help me get in shape too.”
The Notre Dame game day experience is something that Carney has experienced, but that hasn’t stopped him from thinking about what it will be like to run out of the tunnel in September.
“It’s just crazy,” said Carney. “I am a huge visualizer, so before every game, I want to visualize what I want to do and what my objective is. It is completely surreal to visualize myself being in South Bend wearing the gold helmet my father wore and continuing his legacy.
“It’s just a huge blessing and I am extremely thankful to God for opening that door. I can’t wait to help out Notre Dame in any way that I can.”