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Former Irish defensive lineman Louis Nix III remembered

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 6:00 PM EST
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NOTRE DAME, Ind. (WNDU) - The Notre Dame football family is mourning the death of former star defensive lineman Louis Nix III who was found dead in a Florida pond over the weekend after he was reported missing for several days. Nix was only 29 years old.

The fan favorite known as “Irish Chocolate,” Nix captivated the Fighting Irish faithful with his charisma and kindness. On Thanksgiving Day 2012, the future NFL player told WNDU: “I’m thankful for, you know, my mom and my dad, you know, having a handsome son. I’m thankful, like I’m thankful for everything. I’m happy I’m at this university in a position that I’m in, you know, because a lot of people would die to be where I’m at right now.  I’m just thankful for all that.”

Nix, a key member of the 2012 team that made it to the national championship, wasn’t too big for his britches on campus.

“Every time I used to see him, you know, on the campus, and he’d be with students, regular everyday students. And just to see that, you know, that’s why, you know, you can’t judge a book by its cover. I mean, he really did enjoy the Notre Dame experience,” explained Jonas Gray, former NFL and Irish running back.

Nix authored his share of Notre Dame memories, like the time he ran in a two-point conversion at the 2013 Blue-Gold Game, making Head Coach Brian Kelly eat his words.

“Lost a bet, lost a bet with Louis,” said Kelly during a Monday news conference. “That would be a fond memory for, for a lifetime.”

Gray said he still processing the shocking news about Nix’s car and body being discovered on Saturday night.

“He just had such a good spirit. I just wish he knew how much he meant to all of us. And I hope he knows, and I hope he knew it because he was a big part of the Notre Dame family. And he really did take advantage of everything Notre Dame had to offer,” Gray said.

Kelly added: “There was an energy, there was a vibrant young man that passed through these hallways here. That’s what we choose to remember.”

In December 2020, Nix was shot in an attempted robbery at a Jacksonville, Fla. gas station. His mother does not believe that incident was linked to his death. Police have not yet released details on the cause of Nix’s death.

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