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“If you’re going to go on the road and play a game and get caught up in the atmosphere, the tradition and everything that goes into a great college football game Notre Dame is a great place to go play.”

Just as Pitt recruited Walls, Notre Dame was interested in Panthers guard Lucas Nix, 6-6, 305-pound junior.

Nix, a key blocker for Lewis and Graham, remembers the marathon game at Notre Dame Stadium two years ago, a 36-33 victory.

“Some of these younger guys will get to see a different atmosphere for college football game,” he said. “When I went out there two years ago, it was my first time, and it was pretty neat. Everybody knows about ‘Rudy’ and the Golden Dome. I guess you could say it’s like an old-fashioned setting, but once you step on the field, it’s all the same. They play football the way everybody else does.”