July 17, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Four seniors — inside linebacker Anthony Denman, tight end Jabari Holloway, defensive end Grant Irons and tight end Dan O’Leary — have been named captains of the 2000 University of Notre Dame football squad.
Denman, a 6-2, 235-pounder from Rusk, Texas, ranks as Notre Dame’s top returning tackler for the 2000 campaign after finishing second in that category in ’99 with his 89 stops. He’s a three-time letterwinner (as are Holloway, Irons and O’Leary) who played at outside linebacker his first two seasons before moving into a starting role inside for the first time in ’99.
A starter in every game in ’99, he received all-independent honors from Football News, after sharing the team lead in fumble recoveries with three and leading the Irish in tackles in six contests. He made 13 tackles in ’99 vs. Tennessee, 12 vs. Stanford and was named NBC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame MVP vs. Michigan State with nine tackles, three for loss, a sack and a caused fumble. He’s majoring in management information systems in the Mendoza College of Business.
Holloway, a 6-3, 260-pounder from Riverdale, Ga., heads into his third season as the starting Irish tight end. He ranks as the only active player to have recorded more than 100 minutes of playing time in each of his first three seasons. He started all 12 games in ’99 and earned honorable mention All-America honors from Football News after making 12 catches for 189 yards and four touchdowns (one on a fumble recovery in the end zone to win the USC game for the Irish).
His three-year totals feature 29 starting assignments, 35 catches for 595 yards and seven TDs. Holloway is ranked among the top three tight ends nationally on a preseason basis for 2000 by both The Sporting News and Lindy’s. He’s computer engineering major in the College of Engineering.
Irons, a 6-5, 275-pounder from The Woodlands, Texas, has been a starter 18 times combined over his first three seasons — playing inside linebacker as a freshman, outside linebacker as a sophomore and end as a junior. He shared the team lead in sacks in ’99, finishing with 34 tackles overall.
He contributed 50 tackles as a rookie in ’97, then 32 more in ’98. He played more minutes than any other freshman on defense in ’97, missed three late-season games in ’98 with a shoulder injury, then suffered a cracked left fibula in ’99 vs. Boston College. He’s a management information systems major in the Mendoza College of Business.
O’Leary, a 6-3, 260-pounder from Westlake, Ohio. has shared tight end duties with Holloway over the past three seasons. He has earned eight starting assignments combined over those three years, catching a combined 22 passes for 296 yards and three TDs. His ’99 season featured 13 receptions for 183 yards and two TDs.
A sociology major in the College of Arts and Letters, O’Leary caught a four-yard TD pass from Jarious Jackson to give the Irish the lead for good in their ’98 season-opening win over defending national champion and fifth-rated Michigan.