Notre Dame Football

Chris Finke Humbled By Leadership Position

March 29, 2019

Notre Dame receiver Chris Finke has always had the attention of the coaching staff, media and his teammates as he stood out from the first day of fall camp as a freshman. 

The 5-foot-10, 182-pounder has come a long way from being a walk-on and is now in a leadership position on a team looking to make back-to-back appearances in the College Football Playoff. 

“I’m not going to change who I am, but I understand I’m an old guy on the team,” Finke said of being named a S.W.A.T. (Spring/Summer Workout Accountability Team) team captain. “I’m in a leadership role. I know people look up to me and what I say has some weight. The vocal part is definitely playing a bigger role now.” 

The Ohio native has never been the most vocal guy in the world, but he has the respect of his teammates when he speaks. 

“It’s an honor,” stated Finke. “It’s not a small deal. There are only eight of them. To be one of the eight people the coaches think can be a leader is humbling.” 

Notre Dame receivers coach Del Alexander will lean on Finke to not only lead a young receiver room, but also to teach the young group how to practice and conduct themselves on a daily basis. There’s a lot of raw talent in the room and Finke has seen them go about their business in the right way to this point. 

It’s fun to see them finally get some more reps,” explained Finke. “I remember when I was a young guy, spring ball is a time where you can show what you’re worth. I like the young guys we have. They all have the right attitude, they work for it and they want it. It’s nice to see them coming along.” 

In 2018, Finke officially arrived in the blue and gold as he caught 49 passes for 571 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Ian Book returns as the starting quarterback and Finke has noticed some small changes in the California native.

“Ian really has taken this spring well,” said Finke. “This is his first time headed into spring ball where he’s the guy or even a camp where he’s the guy. You can see the confidence in some of the throws he’s making and the way he’s handling himself.” 

The changes in Book’s game aren’t just noticeable in the locker room, but also on the practice field. 

“He’s super confident and knows where the throws will be and what the overages are going to be,” Finke said. “He can put it on the spot because he’s a talented quarterback.

“He’s connected on a lot of deep balls this spring so far.” 

Finke will look to provide Book with a consistent receiver this fall from the slot and once it’s over, he’ll have time to reflect on just how far he’s come in four years. 

“When I look back at where I started, it’s a blessing.” 

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