When your dad is an international rock star, it’s a good idea to look for success in a different field. For college freshman Jesse Bongiovi, that field is located at Notre Dame University, where he has earned a spot as a walk-on cornerback for the Fighting Irish football team.
The New York Daily News reports that the 5 ft. 9 in. Bongiovi, whose Irish roots come from his mother, Irish-American karate instructor Dorothea Hurley, was a standout lacrosse and football player for Brooklyn’s Poly Prep Country School. He is excited by the challenge of joining college football’s most storied team.
“I expect it to be one of the hardest things I’ll probably ever do,” he told the Notre Dame-focused website, IrishSportsDaily.com. “But I like a challenge ... Hopefully, I’ll get to persevere through something that’s pretty hard.”
The love of football runs in the family. Bongiovi’s dad owned a minor league football team, the Philadelphia Soul, a few years ago.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says that Bongiovi is respected by his teammates. Kelly told CSN Chicago that there’s no resentment of the new guy’s celebrity connections.
“They don't look at him as a rock star's son. They look at him as a kid that loves Notre Dame and wants to play football and help this team,” he said.
Bongiovi has dreamed of playing for Notre Dame since he first visited the campus when he was in grammar school.
“The culture here, the people here, the opportunities here, they’re unreal. They’re second to none,” he told IrishSportsDaily.com. “Given the opportunity to walk on to the team and become a part of this family was an easy decision for me.”
No doubt Bongiovi will impress his coaches – and perhaps earn a regular spot on the roster – if he can demonstrate his running skills during a rainy day practice. After all, he’s probably – wait for it -- slippery when wet.