John Zenor | Dec. 28, 2012 | Associated Press
In this photo taken Oct. 19, 2011, Notre Dame track athlete Natalie Geiger, left, and fencers Michael Rossi and Gabriel Acuna help carry a large tree branch to the road in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Twenty-four student athletes from Notre Dame were in Tuscaloosa volunteering time during their fall break to help clean up tornado damaged areas. (AP Photo/The Tuscaloosa News, Robert Sutton)
TUSCALOOSA - David Jones saw the best of Alabama's community in the worst of times.
Jones, a Notre Dame cheerleader, was part of a group of two dozen Fighting Irish athletes that came to Tuscaloosa during fall break in 2011. They were there for a week of cleanup and hard work in a grieving town where more than 50 were left dead because of a tornado a few months earlier.
Now, a year and a half after that week of bonding and goodwill, Notre Dame and Alabama are getting ready to play each other for the BCS national championship.