Former Notre Dame stars have big expectations for 2013 squad - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Former Notre Dame stars have big expectations for 2013 squad


Spring practice is finally over for Notre Dame and now fans are anticipating the start of the 2013 season for the Fighting Irish.

After such a magical run last year many people are expecting big things from the Blue and Gold this coming season. Some of the biggest expectations just happen to come from some of their former players.

"You know I don't see any reason why they can't be as good if not better than last year," said Tyler Eifert, former Notre Dame TE and current NFL Draft prospect.

As if the championship expectations from fans for the 2013 Notre Dame football are not already enough, former Irish stars say they expect the team to compete at national title level this coming season.

"I know they expect to build on what they did last year," said Kyle Rudolph, the 2012 NFL Pro-Bowl MVP, who played TE at Notre Dame. "[This year's team] knows what it takes."

Some former Golden Domers are hoping this years team does so in a more dominating fashion than last year.

"Hopefully the games aren't quite as close and some of us won't have as many heart attack attempts as last year," said Joe Theismann, former ND QB and 1983 NFL MVP. "I think [Coach Brian Kelly] really established such a great foundation with his athletes, a terrific recruiting class coming in and a lot of young guys that have an opportunity to make contributions."

One reason many of the former players feel that Notre Dame has a shot at greatness this coming season is because most of the current roster heads into 2013 with championship game experience and a winning mentality.

"A lot of guys coming back that were on the National Championship team," said Harrison Smith, a former Notre Dame safety who currently plays for the Minnesota Vikings. "I think they're just going to try to build on that and hopefully go the whole way this year."

Some former Irish stars say that the expectations should not be based around wins and losses though.

"I think a lot of times people get caught up in expectations," said Brady Quinn, the former Notre Dame QB, who now plays for the Seattle Seahawks. "The fact of the matter is, it's a new year, hopefully a new and better team that's matured and everything as well. So hopefully they continue to get better and accomplish their ultimate goal which is taking it one game at a time."

While some alumni do not want the team to feel any pressure this coming year, it is safe to say all them believe this team is very capable of great things.

"I don't want to be too much of an optimist, but I always go in saying we're going for a National Championship," said Peter Schivarelli, a former ND walk-on, who's managed the band Chicago for over 40 years. "That's always Notre Dame's goal."

Notre Dame's first game of the season will be against Temple on August 31st.

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