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Brian Kelly recalls first time meeting Louis Nix III

One of Kelly’s first duties as the head football coach at Notre Dame was to fly down to Jacksonville, Florida and make sure Nix stayed committed to the Irish.
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 6:39 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Louis Nix III was known as “Big Lou” and “Irish Chocolate during his Notre Dame career, but he was also always known to have the biggest smile on his face.

Nix was larger than life both figuratively and literally, and instantly became a fan favorite for the Irish.

Of course, he played a major role in the 2012 team’s run to the national championship game.

There are also several funny memories that made Nix very relatable, like when he said he switched from No. 9 to No. 1 because it was more a “slimming” number.

Back in 2012 during thanksgiving week before the USC game, Nix told WNDU what makes him thankful.

“Thankful for my Mom, my Dad for having a handsome son,” Nix said in 2012. “I’m thankful for everything. I am happy I am at this university and the position I am in because a lot of people would die to be where I am at right now. I am just thankful for all of that.”

One person who is extremely thankful Nix played at Notre Dame is Irish head coach Brian Kelly.

Nix actually committed to the blue and gold one week before Kelly was hired as the head coach.

One of Kelly’s first duties as the head football coach at Notre Dame was to fly down to Jacksonville, Florida and make sure Nix stayed committed to the Irish.

The rest is history.

“That was the first time we laid eyes on him,” Kelly said. “He did not disappoint. Big fella. Big personality. Big smile and at time time just relayed to me that he was coming to Notre Dame. He wanted to do something that nobody else ever thought that he would do and that is leave Jacksonville, leave the city and graduate from Notre Dame.”

Kelly says one of his fondest memories of Nix was when he put his 340-pound defensive tackle in at quarterback during the Blue-Gold spring game in 2013.

Kelly says he lost a bet with Nix that the big fella would not be able to lose some weight and maintain it.

Nix did maintain the weight loss, and was able to run the football into the end zone at Notre Dame Stadium.

Nix was 29 years old.

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