March 26, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – One former Notre Dame football player from each of the last six decades will serve as honorary coaches for the 2008 Blue-Gold Spring Football Festival, presented by Home Run Inn Pizza, Irish head coach Charlie Weis announced Wednesday. Jim Morse (`50s), Terry Hanratty (`60s), Terry Eurick (`70s), Allen Pinkett (`80s), Bryant Young (`90s) and Ryan Grant (2000s) accepted invitations from Weis and will coach in the annual spring game.
The 2008 Blue-Gold Spring Football Festival, presented by Home Run Inn Pizza, will take place April 18-20 with the Blue-Gold Game kicking off Saturday, April 19 at 1:35 p.m. in Notre Dame Stadium. Tickets for the game are currently on sale at the Notre Dame ticket office and discounted general admission tickets are available at Michiana-area Meijer stores. Details for all weekend events including the football alumni flag football game and fun run to benefit Hannah and Friends can be found on UND.com.
Morse, a 5-11, 175-pounder from Muskegon, Mich., started at halfback for three seasons at Notre Dame (1954-56) and served as team captain as a senior in 1956. He led the Irish in receiving in both ’55 (17 catches for 424 and three TDs) and ’56 (20 for 442, one TD). His career all-purpose yardage total of 2,443 yards featured 12 TDs – including 208 career rushing attempts for 897 yards and five TDs, plus 1,102 more yards receiving. A 13th-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers, Morse owns Jetway Air Service in Muskegon. He has been a major benefactor to Notre Dame, contributing to among other projects, the Coleman-Morse Center and the Morse Recruiting Lounge at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex. Coleman-Morse opened in spring of 2001 and is a 64,000 square-foot building occupied by Academic Services, First Year of Studies and Campus Ministry. The Morse Recruiting Lounge is one of the signature features of The Gug and offers a beautiful view of campus while housing a bust of legendary coach Knute Rockne and 11 banners commemorating Notre Dame’s 11 consensus national titles. Morse graduated in 1957 with a degree in communication.
Hanratty, a 6-1, 200-pounder from Butler, Pa., started for three seasons at quarterback (1966-68), helping the Irish to a national championship as a sophomore in 1966. He was a consensus All-American as a senior in ’68, after winning third-team honors from the Associated Press as a sophomore. He threw for more than 1,200 yards in each of his three seasons and finished his collegiate career as Notre Dame’s all-time passing leader (304 completions on 550 attempts for 4,152 yards and 27 TDs). He was a second-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in ’69. He finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting as a sophomore in `66, ninth as a junior and third as a senior in ’68. Hanratty played seven seasons with the Steelers (helping them win the ’75 Super Bowl) and one with Tampa Bay, while throwing for 2,510 NFL yards. A 1969 Notre Dame graduate, he is a trader with Sanford Bernstein & Co.
Eurick, a 5-10, 196-pounder from Saginaw, Mich., played at running back for the Irish (1974-77) and served as a captain for the 1977 Notre Dame national championship squad. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated after Notre Dame’s win over Texas in the ’78 Cotton Bowl in a game in which Eurick scored on touchdown runs of 10 and six yards. His Notre Dame career totals included 169 rushes for 806 yards and 13 TDs and he also caught five career TD passes. A 1978 Notre Dame graduate with a degree in economics, he’s now a personnel director with General Motors.
Pinkett, a 5-9, 181-pounder from Sterling, Va., started for three seasons at halfback and ended his career as Notre Dame’s all-time leading rusher. He topped the 1,000-yard mark each of his last three seasons (1983-85) and ended up with 889 career carries for 4,131 yards and 49 TDs. He also caught 73 career passes for 774 yards and three TDs. Pinkett set Notre Dame career records for TDs (53), rushing TDs, rushing yards per game (96.1), rushing attempts and points scored (320). Pinkett fished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting as a senior in ’85, after finishing 16th as a sophomore. He won first-team All-America honors from Football News in both ’83 and ’85, captaining the squad as a senior in `85. He played six seasons with the NFL Houston Oilers (and one in New Orleans) after being drafted in the third round in 1986. He has served as color analyst for Notre Dame’s football radio broadcasts the last seven years. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1986 with a degree in marketing and now works for The Hartford (life insurance).
Young, a 6-3, 285-pounder from Chicago Heights, Ill., started for three seasons at defensive tackle (1991-93), serving as an Irish captain as a senior in 1993. He earned first-team All-America honors as a senior in 1993 by the American Football Coaches Association and from The Sporting News, and second-team honors from both Associated Press and United Press International. He made 67 tackles and had 6.5 sacks as a senior in ’93 and led the team in sacks and tackles for losses as a junior in ’92. Young was a first-round pick (seventh overall selection) of the San Francisco 49ers in 1994 and he played 14 seasons in the NFL before retiring after the 2007 season. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, was named the ’99 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, helped the 49ers to the Super Bowl XXIX title and retired as the 49ers’ all-time sack leader with 89.5. He’s a 1994 Notre Dame graduate with a degree in marketing.
Grant, a 6-1, 218-pound running back from Nyack, N.Y., became only the seventh player in Notre Dame history to rush for 1,000 or more yards in a season with his 1,085 yards as a sophomore in 2002. He currently stands 12th on the Notre Dame career rushing list with his 2,220 yards on 570 carries, with 18 TDs. He served as one of four Irish captains as a senior in ’04. Grant signed as a free agent with the New York Giants, was traded to Green Bay just prior to the 2007 season, then rushed for 956 yards on 188 carries (5.1 average) with eight TDs (he also caught 30 passes for 145 yards while starting seven games). Grant had five-regular-season 100-yard games (including 156 yards vs. Oakland) in `07, then sparkled in Green Bay’s first NFL playoff game with 201 rushing yards on 27 carries and three TDs. He’s a 2005 Notre Dame graduate with a degree in sociology.