The charter plane carrying the Notre Dame football team touched down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at around 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Irish hope that by the time the board a flight with them they will be carrying a title of National Champions.
The plane was met on the tarmac in Florida by a water cannon salute as it pulled up to a stop. More than 100 members of the media gathered there to get a glimpse of the arrival.
Head Coach Brian Kelly, his wife Paqui and their children led the Irish contingent off the plane, followed by the assistant coaches and their families, and then finally by the players themselves.
Kelly said it is good to be I place in south Florida so as to have full focus and attention on Monday’s BCS National Championship game.
“Our guys, especially yesterday you could sense they want to play the game,” Kelly said after exiting the plane, “I know a lot of them tweeted pictures that they were happy to just get on the bus, and that doesn’t happen very often.”
“It’s definitely crazy to see everybody in their orange suits,” said Irish wide receiver Robby Toma, “we’re all blessed to be here and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
When asked if he realized how big of a deal Notre Dame playing in the national championship would be, Coach Kelly said, “This is my first time in a national championship game, I don’t know if this is commonplace, but at Notre Dame we have an incredible following just on a day to day basis.”
The Irish were amazed to see the type of greeting they received when the plane landed, “I think when we pulled up I think all of the people who were looking out the window were pretty much amazed to see the kind of draw this game has,” said Coach Kelly.
Braxton Cave said it best when he exited the plane, “wow,” summing up the amazing experience for the entire team to make it to the National Championship.
Notre Dame will practice on Thursday and Friday before having a few walk thrus over the weekend leading up to Monday's national title game.
NewsCenter 16 is there very step of the way with reports in every single newscast through the national title game. Angelo Di Carlo, Jeff Jeffers, Gabby Gonzalez, Chuck Freeby, Maureen McFadden, Barbara Harrington and Kevin Lewis will bring you wall-to-wall coverage from South Beach and South Bend.