Special Edition "Daniel Rudy Ruettiger #45 - 11-8-75" Full Size Helmet like the one shown. Extremely RARE. Rudy has autographed these Special Edition Official Full Size Helmets with his full name signature, uniform number and the date of the historic game in which he played. A&R Collectibles, Inc. COA included.
Daniel Eugene "Rudy" Ruettiger (born August 23, 1948) is a motivational speaker and former collegiate football player for the University of Notre Dame, who is best known as the inspiration for the motion picture Rudy.
Daniel Ruettiger (nicknamed "Rudy") had a hard time in school because he was dyslexic—a condition that was not well understood at the time. He was the third of fourteen children. He attended Joliet Catholic High School, where he played for locally famous coach Gordie Gillespie. Ruettiger joined the United States Navy after high school, serving as a yeoman on a communications command ship for two years; then he worked in a power plant for two years. He applied to Notre Dame, but due to his marginal grades he had to do his early college work at nearby Holy Cross College.
After two years at Holy Cross, Ruettiger was accepted as a student at Notre Dame on his fourth try, in the fall of 1974. It was during his time studying at Holy Cross that Ruettiger discovered he had dyslexia.
Ruettiger harbored a dream to play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, despite being merely 5'6" and 165 pounds—an undersized player. Head coach Ara Parseghian encouraged walk-on players from the student body. For example, Notre Dame's 1969 starting center, Mike Oriard, was a walk-on who eventually won a Rhodes Scholarship and an NFL contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.
After working as hard as possible and showing that he was willing to work as much as he needed to, Ruettiger earned a place on the Notre Dame scout team, a practice squad that helps the varsity team practice for games. Merv Johnson was the coach who was instrumental in keeping Rudy on as a scout-team player.
After Parseghian stepped down after the 1974 season, Dan Devine was named head coach. In Ruettiger's last opportunity to play for Notre Dame at home, Devine put him into a game as defensive end against Georgia Tech on November 8, 1975. In the movie Rudy, Devine is given a somewhat antagonistic role, not wanting Rudy to dress for his last game. However, in actuality, it was Devine who came up with the idea to dress Rudy. In the final play of Ruettiger's senior season with the Fighting Irish, he recorded a sack, which is all his Notre Dame stat line has ever shown. Ruettiger actually played for two plays. The first play was a kickoff, and the second (and final) play he sacked Georgia Tech quarterback, Rudy Allen. Ruettiger was carried off the field by his teammates following the game.
Ruettiger was the first of only two players in Notre Dame history ever to be carried off the field by his teammates. The other is Marc Edwards. While it is true that Ruettiger was one of only two players to be carried off, the reason for this is that the school does not allow for such "individual" honors preferring the players to be represented as part of the team.