Aug. 23, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Five Notre Dame football players were pleasantly surprised by head coach Charlie Weis at the beginning of practice Thursday. In an impromptu announcement given in front of the team and assembled media following running and stretching, fifth-year senior center John Sullivan was named a team captain and junior center Thomas Bemenderfer, senior cornerback Wade Iams, senior long snapper J.J. Jansen and senior cornerback William David Williams all were awarded scholarships for the 2007-08 school year.
The coaching staff unanimously decided to name Sullivan the fifth team captain for 2007 based on the leadership role he demonstrated throughout the summer and training camp. He joins fellow fifth-year seniors John Carlson, Travis Thomas and Tom Zbikowski along with fourth-year senior Maurice Crum Jr. as team captains. Sullivan is the most experienced returning offensive player, having started 21 consecutive games at center and 33 games at that position in his Notre Dame career. He was named to the 2007 watch lists for the Outland Trophy and Rimington Award and was tabbed a first-team preseason All-American by Street & Smith’s.
Bemenderfer began his college career as a scholarship athlete at Northwestern University before transferring to Notre Dame for the 2006-07 school year. The Mishawaka, Ind. native and Penn High School graduate walked onto the football team last year and is currently listed as a backup center.
Iams is also a local product as he hails from Mishawaka, Ind. and is a graduate of Penn High School. The four-year walk-on earned a 4.0 grade-point average during the 2006-07 school year and currently holds a 3.921 cumulative GPA.
Jansen earned a scholarship for the second-consecutive season and serves as the team’s long snapper. The Phoenix, Ariz. product became the team’s long snapper in the middle of the 2005 season and has held that position ever since.
Williams is in his third year with the Notre Dame football team. A Raleigh, N.C. native, he earned a 3.933 GPA during the 2007 spring semester and his annualized GPA for the 2006-07 school year was 3.893.
The Irish open the 2007 season on Sept. 1 against Georgia Tech at Notre Dame Stadium.