Nearly 40 years after leading Notre Dame past Alabama in the 1973 Sugar Bowl, Dave Casper was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame Tuesday night in New York City.
Casper was an All-American during his senior season as the Irish beat the Crimson Tide to secure Notre Dame's 9th national championship.
"I was just a little college punk that did whatever Ara Parseghian told me to do," Casper explains. "We weren't supposed to win the game, but we did. We were 10 point underdogs at the time."
Notre Dame's a 7.5 point underdog this time around as the Irish face Alabama January 7th in Miami for the national title but Casper says that doesn't mean there are big similarities between now and then.
"These kids built their program," Casper said of the 2012 team. "Nothing we did in 73 is going to affect the game today. These guys came out of no where, they weren't even ranked at the beginning of the season. They had a great season and played tough football."
"I'd say I've never seen a team--including our team--that has toughed it out and won the tight games the way this team has."
Casper says his favorite Notre Dame memories were graduating and getting married a week after graduating at the Basilica. And winning that national championship.
"Walking off the field after we won the game was a great experience," Casper explains. "Playing it isn't always fun. But when you win, and walk off the field and say 'wow, how did that happen.'---that's a good feeling."
Casper is the 44th Notre Dame player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
"I didn't have the most unbelievable college career," Casper admits. "My senior year was a good year and I was a good player. But I wasn't one of those 3-year All-Americans like some of these guys are. It's really another gift of Notre Dame. Playing on the team in the national championship and being a college graduate--we're getting fewer and fewer of those every day."
Casper is 2nd all time in almost all categories for Notre Dame tight ends, passed this season by captain Tyler Eifert.