NOTRE DAME, Ind. (WNDU-TV) - The Fighting Irish are still on a high after Saturday's comeback win against Virginia Tech.
But for one offensive lineman, just being on the field was special enough.
Grad student Trevor Ruhland got the start at right guard for an injured Tommy Kraemer.
Ruhland himself has battled back from enough injuries to make anyone walk away from the game they love.
“Yeah I mean, I didn't know if I was going to be able to play,” Ruhland said. “This spring was really hard for me. I was coming in hopefully getting the starting center spot. I've waited my four years for it and injuries kind of derailed a little bit of that. I'm beat up I won't lie to you. I've been told not to play, that I shouldn't play because I've got the knee of an 80-year old-they say. I couldn't give up and I came back for moments like this. You might not see it one my face right now but I couldn't be any happier than I am.”
He's had three surgeries in his left knee, a broken elbow, broken ankle and a broken nose.
He's also torn both pecs and his labrum in his shoulder
But he's battled back on to the field.
Ruhland and the O-Line held strong not allowing any sacks against Virginia Tech.
“Trevor is so well liked by his teammates because he loves Notre Dame,” head coach Brian Kelly said. “I mean, look, the theme here is these guys love playing for Notre Dame. They love what the standards are and what it stands for. And Trevor Ruhland could have easily taken a pass on this and said, I'm out. But he loves his teammates, he loves playing for Notre Dame.”
While Ruhland has battled back from injuries, some Golden Domers are still tending to injuries of their own
Kelly announced in a teleconference Sun. that offensive lineman Robert Hainsey will undergo surgery on Thursday for his fractured ankle.
Linebacker Jack Lamb will not play against Duke and will be further evaluated for a hip injury.
Tony Jones Jr. is expected to be full go against the Blue Devils.