Nearly everyone is familiar with the story of Rudy Ruettiger, best known simply as “Rudy,” who walked onto the University of Notre Dame football team in the mid-1970s, despite being just 5-feet-6-inches tall and weighing a scant 165 pounds. Rudy had dreamt of playing for Notre Dame since childhood. After working extremely hard, Rudy was promoted to Notre Dame’s scout team, which helps the varsity prepare for its game each week.
Coach Dan Devine allowed Rudy to dress for the team’s final home game against Georgia Tech. Unexpectedly, Devine inserted Rudy for three plays. On the final play of the game Rudy found himself at—of all things, given his diminutive size—defensive end. Unbelievably, Rudy then sacked the quarterback. His tale is one of legend, and it was turned into a very popular feature film. As inspirational stories go, Rudy’s is difficult to beat.