Redemption

In 2007, Duval Kamara was recruited to play football at Notre Dame. Coming out of Hoboken, New Jersey, he was rated a four-star wide receiver. As a freshman he caught 32 passes, the second most on the team, scoring 4 touchdowns. Between his reputation coming out of high school and and promising freshman year, expectations for the rest of his career were high. Unfortunately, due to a combination of not being utilized correctly, the emergence of other options at wide receiver, and general ineffectiveness, Kamara’s career at Notre Dame was often seen as a disappointment.

In 2007, Robert Hughes was recruited to play football at Notre Dame. Coming out of Chicago, Illinois, he was rated a four-star running back. As a freshman he rushed 53 times for 305 yards for a 5.5 average, best on the team, scoring 4 touchdowns. Between his reputation coming out of high school and and promising freshman year, expectations for the rest of his career were high. Unfortunately, due to a combination of not being utilized correctly, the emergence of other options at running back, and general ineffectiveness, Hughes’s career at Notre Dame was often seen as a disappointment.

On November 1, 2010, the Notre Dame football team had a record of 4-5 following back-to-back losses to Navy and Tulsa. With games against top-25 opponents Utah and USC sandwiched around Army, who runs the same offense that Navy used to blow out the Irish, Notre Dame was staring at a second straight bowl-less season.

Hosting Utah on Senior Day at Notre Dame Stadium, the Irish dominated the Utes, with Duval Kamara catching two touchdown passes to put the game out of reach.

Playing Army at Yankee Stadium, the Irish dominated the Black Knights, with Robert Hughes running nine times for 39 yards, including the go ahead touchdown.

And last night, visiting the Los Angeles Coliseum, with 10 seconds left in the first half Notre Dame stood at USC’s 1-yard line. The pass went to Duval Kamara, who reached the ball across the goal line before being pushed out of bounds. With 6:18 left, Notre Dame received a USC kickoff down 16-13. On the ensuing drive, Robert Hughes ran four times, for 6-, 12-, 12-, and 5-yards, the final carry driving into the end zone, putting the Irish ahead for good.

Make no mistake, a 7-5 record is not good enough. But that doesn’t make a 3-0 November, ending the USC streak, and the redemption of the 2007 recruiting class any less sweet.

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