Notre Dame Fighting Irish Running Back Mick Assaf Steps Down From Football
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Mick Assaf Steps Down From Football

Notre Dame running back and graduate student Mick Assaf will forego his fifth season of eligibility in 2020 to pursue his current business interest in @yokegaming.

The Georgia native and former walk-on has been with the program the past four seasons and was rewarded with a scholarship, along with offensive lineman Colin Grunhard, through at least the spring and summer semesters of 2020.

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Notre Dame running back Mick Assaf
Assaf, a former walk-on who was placed on scholarship last year, was a regular on special teams this past season. (Andris Visockis)

As a senior last year, the 5-11, 212-pound Atlanta native played in all 13 games on special teams, primarily with the kick return and punt return units as a blocker. He also saw 11 snaps at running back and carried the ball nine times for 34 yards.

In 2018, Assaf was awarded the Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year honor, and this past December he received the Walk-On Players Union award. Noted for his work ethic, direct personality, dry and wry humor — especially with his own player interviews, and of administrative figures — and leadership, Assaf became a popular team figure, which helped him earn his scholarship.

In a long message posted on his Instagram account, Assaf noted “this team taught me what it feels like to build success on a foundation of failures. Ultimately, this team taught me that an individual person will never be at their best until they experience the love of a team.

“I have loved this team and program over the past four years more than anything else in my life.”

Notre Dame returns six scholarship players at the running back position this season. The Fighting Irish also were unofficially at 90 scholarships entering August and must whittle it down to the NCAA maximum of 85 by the start of the season.

Preseason practice is expected to commence next week in preparation for the scheduled season opener at home versus Duke Sept. 12.

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