Each week we will feature a college football player who is either a member or an officer in a Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.
Name: Joe Schmidt
College: Notre Dame University
Height, weight, class, position: 6-0, 230 pounds, sophomore, inside linebacker
High School: Mater Dei High School, Santa Ana, California
About Joe Schmidt: An officer in the Uplfting Athletes Chapter at Notre Dame, Schmidt had other offers on the table, including a preferred walk-on offer from USC, but opted to fulfill his dream and play football for the Fighting Irish. In only his second season as a preferred walk-on at ND, Schmidt is one of five inside linebackers at the disposal of head coach Brian Kelly. In high school had a standout senior season and was nominated for all-state and received award from National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame in recognition for outstanding achievements both on the field and in the classroom.
As a player, what is your favorite part of game day you get to experience at your home stadium?
Schmidt: My favorite part of game day at home, behind singing the fight song after a win, is the walk to the stadium. It’s a pretty special experience when thousands of people line a path just to see you walk over to the game.
What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
Schmidt: The most memorable experience I have had as a college football player so far was beating Michigan at home for the first time in 3 years.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what if anything has this experience done for you?
Schmidt: I was drawn to Uplifting Athletes because I felt like there was an opportunity to help a lot of people with the platform that myself and my teammates have as college football players. The experience has taught me about leadership and organization, but also it has helped me realize just how many worthy causes there are out there. Each chapter of UA has a different disease and before I became involved I didn’t realize these diseases even existed.
Facebook, Twitter or neither and why?
Schmidt: I have both, Facebook mostly to keep up with my friends and family back home and Twitter just for fun. I like using Twitter to get news updates in real time and the people I follow keep me entertained.
What is the toughest team you’ve faced or regularly play and what makes them so difficult?
Schmidt: I’d say everyone is tough. We play arguably the hardest schedule in college football year in and year out, and it seems that everyone brings it when they play Notre Dame. That being said, our rivalry games generally are the most difficult as it just fuels the fire for opposing teams even more.
What is your chosen major, and what if anything have you used from that major as a contribution to your Uplifting Athletes Chapter?
Schmidt: My major is Business Management with a focus on Entrepreneurship. It has been a huge help because working as a team and leading is what both Uplifting Athletes and Entrepreneurship are all about.
Besides one of your teammates, name a college football player you enjoy watching?
Schmidt: I don’t really have one since I don’t watch games really, but if i do I like watching my all of my old high school teammates play. Cameron Meredith at Nebraska, Matt Barkley and Khaled Holmes at USC just to name a few.
Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
Schmidt: Clay Matthews because of how passionately he plays and the havoc he wreaks on opposing offenses.
What was or is the inspiration for the Rare Disease your Uplifting Athletes Chapter is raising money for to be part of the fight?
Schmidt: Sam Grewe. Our football team has adopted Sam, a 13 year old boy who has osteosarcoma, and we chose to raise money in his honor.
What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?
Schmidt: Michigan Stadium. Last year for the night game the atmosphere was absolutely incredible and it is one of the loudest stadiums in the country.