For as long as Matthew Salermo could remember, all he wanted out of football was a chance to be a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
The Crespi (Calif.) wide receiver grew up in a rare Notre Dame household on the left coast hoping that one day he’d have the chance to go to South Bend. For many, when the scholarship offer didn’t come that would have been the end of the dream, but Salermo’s persistence paid off.
With a 4.67 GPA, Salermo was accepted as a student and then began contacting the coaching staff. That eventually led to a visit from Notre Dame special teams coordinator Brian Polian and led to a preferred walk-on offer.
Now, Salermo will live the dream beginning next fall.
However, now that he’s got the chance he isn’t cool with being content. The kid showed he can play with 77 catches in one of the toughest high school football divisions in the country and he intends on showing he can be of value to Notre Dame, as well.
The 6-foot, 175-pound receiver plans on getting into the weight room to get bigger and faster and he’s already volunteering to do the dirty work for the Irish wide receiving corps.
“I see myself as a possession receiver,” Salermo told Matt Freeman of Irish Sports Daily. “I have sure hands, and that’s one of my best qualities. I’m not a guy that’s going to juke six people, but if you throw me a slant, I’m going to catch it and take a hit to get the first down.”
Notre Dame has a rich history of walk-ons going to accomplish great things both in football and away from the game and Salermo looks like he has the right mindset to continue that tradition. And it’s all he could have ever asked for.
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