St. Joe receiver Conor Ratigan signs as preferred walk-on to Notre Dame

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Wednesday was National Signing Day, as Notre Dame's stars of tomorrow took their first step to runnning out of the tunnel at Notre Dame Stadium by putting pen to paper and officially signing with the Irish.

23 kids from 16 states across the country did just that.

One of those kids though, came right from the shadow of the Golden Dome.

St. Joe senior receiver Conor Ratigan signed to be a preferred walk-on for the Irish.

The local star has dazzled us on Friday Night Football the last few years, and now he'll be taking his talents to Saturdays.

The road for a walk-on is not an easy one, but Notre Dame is excited to have Ratigan join the team.

"You look at a guy like Conor, and you say ok, may not have been ready quite yet to be a scholarship player," Notre Dame recruiting director and special teams coordinator Brian Polian said. "But to borrow Coach Kelly's words, we see traits, we see a competitive desire, we see some things that lead us to believe at some point down the line, he will find a way to make a contribution, and those guys are incredibly valuable. When we can identify a young man that we feel at some point can help us, that's exciting, and then to have him be local, Notre Dame family, all the better."

Ratigan will also be following in his dad's footsteps. Brian Ratigan was a linebacker under Lou Holtz from 1989-1992, and now is the team's orthopedic surgeon.