Jerry Barca | October 4, 2018
Note: This story originally appeared in the 2018 Stanford issue of Gameday Magazine, the official gameday program of Notre Dame football.
Sitting in North Dining Hall, Luther Bradley felt the rumbling in his stomach. Notre Dame's freshman defensive back had just eaten a game day breakfast of steak and potatoes. It wasn't the food that bothered his belly, though. It was the nervousness. In a few hours, the teenager would start in the 1973 season opener for the Fighting Irish. Could he handle this? Was he up for it?
At the dining hall, he had to make a move. He headed to the bathroom. He threw up. Breakfast exited; nervousness stayed. First, he walked back to his dorm room in Fisher Hall. Then he headed over to the stadium.
After warm ups, Bradley sat at his locker. Head coach Ara Parseghian made the rounds in the locker room, stopping to have quick chats with players before the game. He walked over to Bradley.
"How are you feeling?" the coach asked.
Bradley looked up and gave the honest answer. "I'm nervous."
Parseghian knew what to say and the coach didn't hesitate in delivering the message Bradley needed to hear.
"If I didn't believe you could do the job, I would not put you out there. You'll be fine. Go out there and have fun. You'll see," he told Bradley.
Notre Dame pounded Northwestern that day 44-0. Bradley added his own highlight, partially blocking a punt in the second quarter that set up one of Notre Dame's touchdowns.
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