Tibble makes big strides as walk-on
By TIM CASEY
Assistant Sports Editor
When Adam Tibble is in his late 50s, he will still tell his children about Nov. 11, 2000. On Saturday, the walk-on holder from Northville, Mich., pitched to kicker Nick Setta on a fake field goal that resulted in a touchdown. The score gave the Irish a 28-10 lead on their way to the seventh victory of the season.
"Forty years from now, it'll definitely be a story," Tibble said. "That's when I know my friends and I will be glad we went big-time, glad we just tried it."
Coming out of high school, Tibble turned down offers from Ivy League schools to come to South Bend. Other walk-ons, including fullback Jeremy Juarez also received interest from lower Division 1 and Division 2 teams but came to the same conclusion.
"There's just something about Notre Dame," Tibble said.
Tibble found that out even more clearly on Saturday. The Irish called xfor a fake extra point earlier in the year against Stanford but decided to kick.
Prior to the touchdown against Boston College, Davie signaled for a fake and Tibble had to decide whether the BC defense could stop the run.
As Setta ran untouched into the end zone, Tibble laid on his back after getting hit by an Eagles player.
"I just heard the crowd," Tibble said. "Being near the student section, hearing everybody go nuts felt pretty good."
Another result of playing for the Irish?
"The count (of phone calls to the Tibble residence) is still coming in," Tibble said. "It's funny who comes out of the woodwork when they hear your name."
Another week, another quarterback story.
Arnaz Battle's injury, Matt LoVecchio's emergence, Gary Godsey's switching positions and Jared Clark's change to backup have all been well documented.
And now, freshman Carlyle Holiday, the fifth-string signal caller at the beginning of the season has been named LoVecchio's backup.
The transition started on Tuesday, after Holiday simulated Air Force's option attack and played well in the bye week.
"He really showed some leadership and picked things up," coach Bob Davie said. "With his combination of athletic ability, not only running the ball but he's explosive throwing the ball, he's moved ahead of Jared a little right now."
The coaching staff made a list of 15-18 plays for Holiday last week, in case he entered the game. If he plays against Rutgers or USC or in the bowl game, Holiday loses a year of eligibility. Prior to this week, it seemed the coaches wanted to grant Holiday a chance for a fifth year.
"It's not my decision [to play this year]," Holiday said. "If I did, it would be OK."
Nine months ago, Holiday faced another agonizing decision. On Feb. 2, he signed with Notre Dame and spurned Nebraska. The competition for the 6-foot-2 190-pounder grew to the point where Holiday refused to answer the telephone.
"Kirk Doll has got little calluses on his fingers from hitting that dial on that phone so many times," Davie said on Feb. 2. "In my sleep I can hear that operator come on saying, `No one answers yet.'"
When he arrived on campus, he struggled learning the offense and fell near the bottom of the depth chart. But in public, Davie still remained high on the San Antonio native. On numerous occasions, the head coach referred to Holiday as the most athletic of the three freshmen.
"I'm really starting to pick (the offense) up now," Holiday said. "It's really starting to click in my head. I don't know all of it but I know pretty much most of it."
Besides getting a football education, Holiday also received a life lesson since reporting for summer camp.
"You can't be selfish," Holiday said. "You've got to realize what your role is on the team."
No one's role has changed more than Holiday's.
u Following the Oct. 28 Air Force game, Davie complained about the officiating and called Dave Parry, the Big Ten's supervisor of officials. He also decided to send a tape of questionable plays and a letter to the Mountain West Conference's commissioner. "He (the commissioner) looked at it the day he got it Fed-Exed and called me back that afternoon," Davie said. "We talked about all the calls that we thought were right and wrong. I thought he did a tremendous job."
All Sports Stories for Tuesday, November 14, 2000