Curtain Call: JD Bertrand to play last game at ND Stadium

Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 1:28 AM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - For the past three seasons there’s been a constant in the middle of the Notre Dame defense — JD Bertrand.

“There’s injuries and bumps along the way. Honestly, I think I’m a better person because of it and a better player because of it,” Bertrand said. “I’m very thankful that I’ve had this opportunity to come to Notre Dame and just be a Notre Dame Fighting Irish.”

The senior linebacker has been a starter since the 2021 season and has consistently produced, leading the team in tackles in 2021, 2022, and now so far in the 2023 season.

“He will always be the standard for me in terms of how to prepare, how to improve, how to work,” said Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman. “Off the field he’s such a selfless person that gives back to the community. He’s a guy that often goes to the hospitals with me to be around the kids that are in the hospital, and he’s just a great example of the total student-athlete.”

The fifth-year player is now in his second season as captain.

“The biggest thing for me is just getting better every single day and challenging these guys and pushing these guys,” Bertrand said. “And when I leave here, I hope all of these guys feel that I’ve done that for them.”

Saturday will be the last time Bertrand runs out at Notre Dame Stadium — an emotional moment that he’s been preparing for

“Saturday, I’m sure before the game everyone will be a little emotional, but the biggest thing is we’re playing a really good opponent,” he said. “We’re playing a team battling for bowl eligibility. We know they’re going to come in ready to go, so we need to keep that main thing of the opponent we’re about to play.”

Notre Dame will need another good defensive performance this weekend, and they’ll be looking towards the man in the middle.

The Irish defense has only been allowing 10.6 points per game at home this season, and Bertrand has been a big reason why.