BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (WNDU) - Regular season football is on the horizon. However, this fall Notre Dame football alums Alex Bars and Sam Mustipher aren't reporting to Culver for camp. They are in Bourbonnais for their first NFL camp with the Chicago Bears.
“Pretty awesome,” Bars said. “It definitely helps being out there with a guy you can trust and played so many reps with.”
The former Irish football captains are playing side by side once again, but this time they are both getting second team reps with the Chicago Bears.
“It's phenomenal,” Mustipher said. “It definitely feels like home.”
It feels like home because the two are also reunited with former Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, who coached Bars and Mustipher during their first four years under the shadow of the golden dome.
“Coach Hiestand is Coach Hiestand,” Mustipher said. “He's consistent every single day of what he expects out of you, what he expects about the unit.”
“He cares so much about you,” Bars said.” He wants you to reach your potential, work really hard to improve every day and use his technique.”
But Hiestand isn't the only one who is excited to have the two former Golden Domers in Chicago. The day Bars and Mustipher were signed as free agents, Chicago Bears Pro Bowl offensive lineman Kyle Long tweeted out that Lake Forest should be renamed to “North Bend” and the offensive line will rock the Notre Dame gold helmets in 2019.
“You think about Kyle, a guy who embodies what it means to be a Chicago Bear saying something like that,” Mustipher said. “He's really embraced the whole group of rookies, really everybody, and the job he does bringing this unit together is incredible.”
Right now in the NFL, there are nine offensive lineman who spent their college football careers at Notre Dame. Bars and Mustipher say their experience in South Bend has really prepared them for the next level.
“We've had great coaching there for the past however many years,” Bars said. “The talent that comes out of there really speaks for itself.”
“Notre Dame is a place a lot of guys come out of and succeed at the professional level because every day you are called to a higher standard,” Mustipher said. “I think that's something I try to come out here every day to be consistent, play at a high level and not be the guy to let this team down.”
Now the next time Bars and Mustipher will see some game action at Soldier Field in Chicago will be this Thursday when the Bears take on the Panthers in their first preseason game.