Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Unsung Hero of the Week

Oct. 23, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After each game, the FANSzine evaluates the Notre Dame players each week and honors those who do not always get the attention for a job well done in the Unsung Hero of the Week honors. Flanker Joey Getherall earns this week’s honors with his special teams performance against West Virginia. He excelled not only on the punt returns but on receptions as well.

When Media Day rolled around in August, a reporter asked flanker Joey Getherall what the most intimidating thing about him was.

Getherall jokingly responded his size.

The flanker is listed at a generous 5-foot-7. In reality, the California native stands at about 5-foot-5. After Saturday’s game, he appeared a giant. His name registers among the best in returners in college football.

“If you combine his receiving with his punt returns, he is a truly dynamic player,” Irish head coach Bob Davie said. “He is as good as there is.”

He racked up 122 yards on punt returns alone in the game against West Virginia. Like any member of a team, Getherall credited his fellow teammates with helping him return a punt 73 yards for a touchdown against West Virginia.

“It was our basic return,” Getherall said about the touchdown play. “All I had to do was catch the ball and hit the hole. Everyone took care of their blocks.”

Currently, Getherall is ranked fifth in the country in punt returns. He is right in the hunt for being one of college football’s most dangerous punt returners, along with the likes of Virginia Tech’s Andre Davis and Miami’s Santana Moss.

In seven games, Getherall returned 19 punts for 343 yards. He averages right around 18 yards per return.

Getherall joked about his size but it is one thing, which makes him stand out. Standing much shorter than most average receivers, he shows no sign of intimidation.

“He is a fearless guy plus he is so talented,” Davie said. “People do not realize how talented he truly is.”

This season, Getherall proved he is a great threat to opposing teams. He currently ranks second on the team in receiving. Getherall averages around 13 yard per catch.

“There are not a lot of wide receivers out there that I would trade him for,” Davie said.

Getherall led the team in receptions on Saturday. He had 3 catches for 79 yards, including a spectacular reception from multi-talented David Givens.

The Irish punt return team’s success is no secret and neither is Getherall. Rest assured that opposing team’s defenses cringe at the sight of 5-foot-7 Getherall entering the game.

They know that good things come in small packages.