April 13, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame Football Legends roster that will take on the Japanese Senior National Team in the Notre Dame Japan Bowl in Tokyo this summer will be revealed during weekend of the Blue-Gold spring game.
More than 80 former University of Notre Dame players are expected to attend a testing session conducted by Football Legends head coach Lou Holtz and his coaching staff from 8:00-10:00 a.m. (ET) on Saturday (April 18) on the new LaBar Fields on the University of Notre Dame campus.
The players selected for the Notre Dame Football Legends roster will then attend meetings and have equipment fitted on Sunday (April 19) from 7:30-10:30 a.m. (ET).
A list of 55 players selected to travel to Japan will be revealed at a Notre Dame Legends dinner to be hosted by the Notre Dame Monogram Club at 6:00 p.m. (ET) on that Saturday evening. An additional five roster spots will be left open to accommodate prospective players who are either currently NFL free agents or are unable to attend the testing weekend.
The Notre Dame Japan Bowl, which will be played on Saturday, July 25, in the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome, will be the highlight of a weeklong visit to Japan from July 20-26, which is endorsed and supported by the Notre Dame Monogram Club. Global Football, whose President Patrick Steenberge (ND’73) was a quarterback at Notre Dame in the early `70s, will produce the event in partnership with the Japan American Football Association (JAFA).
“I am excited to be actively stepping back onto the football field again,” Holtz said. “Some of these players have played for me before and some of the coaches have too, so it will be a unique experience to have them back together alongside other generations of Notre Dame football alumni.
“We will assess their fitness and their football sharpness and then select those who will travel to Japan to represent the University of Notre Dame one more time. I will impress upon them that having visited Japan recently to promote this exciting event, I can guarantee that the Japanese are taking this game very seriously and will provide worthy opposition.”
Players who have indicated they will attend the testing session include quarterback Tony Rice, who led the Fighting Irish to the 1988 national championship. Rice will be reunited with former teammates Chris Zorich, who will coach the Football Legends defensive line, and defensive end Frank Stams, who aims to strap on the pads and take some snaps against Team Japan.
Among the 80 players heading to South Bend on April 18-19 are:
Jeremy Akers, Offensive Guard, ’93-’96
Chase Anastasio, Wide Receiver, ’03-’07
Joe Brockington, Linebacker, ’03-’07
Ivory Covington; Cornerback ’94-’97
Autry Denson, Tailback, ’95-’98
Chris Frome, Defensive End, ’02-’06
Brandon Hoyte, Linebacker ’01-’05
Lance Legree, Defensive Tackle, ’96-’00
Bob Morton, Offensive Lineman, ’02-’06
Greg Pauly, Defensive Tackle, ’00-’04
Tony Rice, Quarterback, ’86-’89
Tim Ruddy, Center, ’90-’93
Frank Stams, Defensive End, ’84-’88
Dwight Stevenson Jr., Defensive End, ’03-’06
Shane Walton, Cornerback, ’99-’02
Ambrose Wooden, Cornerback ’03-’06
Ray Zellars, Fullback, ’91-’94
Joining Holtz on the Notre Dame Football Legends coaching staff and putting the players through their paces during the Blue-Gold weekend will be defensive coordinator Gary Darnell, defensive backs/assistant head coach Bill Lewis, running backs coach Reggie Brooks, defensive line coach Chris Zorich, offensive line coach Tony Yelovich and wide receivers coach Tim Brown.
Notre Dame Football Legends Testing / Flag Game / Events – April 18-19
Saturday, April 18
8:00-10:00 a.m. On-field testing/tryout (LaBar Fields)
11:30 a.m. Alumni Flag Football Game (Notre Dame Stadium)
6:00 p.m. Notre Dame Football Legends Dinner hosted by Monogram Club
The Notre Dame Football Legends roster will be announced during dinner
Sunday, April 19
7:30-10:30 a.m. Equipment fitting and team meetings
— ND —