He’s no Rudy: Notre Dame receiver goes from walk-on to starter and possibly star

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Chris Finke is a Lance Stephenson fan, uses @SlipperyFox10 for a Twitter handle, owns a 15-year-old cockatiel named “Chirpie," and has a sister who performs on Broadway.

None of that makes him an unusual college football receiver. This does:

He is 5-9 ½, 180 pounds, caught 12 passes (that’s total) in high school and received zero Division I scholarship offers. Yet he has gone from walk-on to starter — indeed, can we say star? — at Notre Dame. 

One of his roommates happens to be quarterback Brandon Wimbush. That has nothing to do with Finke’s rise. Ball don’t lie.

“I always tell him, ‘When I have the opportunity to get you the ball, I know you’re going to do something special with it,’ “ Wimbush said.

Next opportunity will be Ball State’s visit to No. 8 Notre Dame on Saturday. It will be hard for Finke to be more special than he was in an opening 24-17 victory over Michigan.

On third-and-6 from the Michigan 43 in the first quarter, Wimbush lofted an arching ball toward Finke. Even Finke’s father, Jim, said to himself, “Ah, that thing is intercepted.”

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Michigan safety Brad Hawkins was in position to intercept it, but Finke snatched it away off the top of Hawkins’ helmet and fell into the end zone. Touchdown. The Fighting Irish led 14-0.

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