The following story airs on Countdown to Kickoff at 2:30pm on WNDU-TV
When Penn High grad Braxston Cave was born, he was destined to be an Irish football player.
"It truly was a dream since he was a small kid," explains Braxston's dad Rick.
After all, Braxston's named after Braxston Banks--a former Irish running back. So really--Braxston Cave couldn't have gone to another school.
"I don't think so," Braxston says with a big laugh. "I don't think my mom would have given me the chance to go anywhere else."
His mom Kim is affectionately known as Mama Cave to the football team. Each Thursday on home weeks. she cooks for the entire offensive line. So now what are the Caves going to do on Thursdays?
"we talked about that," Rick says with a laugh.
"Save 125 dollars on our grocery bill for sure," Kim says jumping in.
Having his parents just 10 minutes away in Granger has been a true blessing for Braxston. it's something he at first took for granted.
"I wanted to get away from home, be on my own and experience things," Braxston says reflecting. "And that first week came and you start missing mom real quick."
One of Braxston's favorite Notre Dame memories involves his parents. It came in 2010 when he started his first game. NewsCenter 16 was there to capture the moment.
"We Purdue and then I met my parents outside after the game and it was surreal moment just being there with them and knowing things were finally coming together," Cave says.
Braxston's other favorite memory?
"Running out of the tunnel the first time," Braxston explains. "Growing up, you watch it. you see it. To actually experience it is something special."
Today. The hometown guy plays his final home game and runs out out of that tunnel for the final time. What will that be like?
"I don't really know to be honest," Cave says with a bit of choked up laugh. "I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be exciting, very emotional."
"I get all teary eyed just thinking about it," his mom Kim says as she wipes away a tear. "To have a diploma from Notre Dame and a football career what he's loved to do all his life--you're always happy to see your kid succeed."
"Overjoyed," Kim continues. "That's the only word i can say--overjoyed."
After this season, Cave will head to the NFL. He'll finally leave town but says Michiana will always be home and he will always come back home whenever he can.