Notre Dame: Louis Nix keeps everyone guessing

Notre Dame: Louis Nix keeps everyone guessing
November 13, 2013, 7:45 pm
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- "Irish Chocolate" sat in his seat in the Guglielmino Athletics Complex and said he hasn't made a decision whether or not to enter the NFL Draft next year.
 
Because it was Irish Chocolate -- Notre Dame nose guard Louis Nix's YouTube/Twitter stage name -- sitting there, whether or not he was being serious is open to interpretation.
 
"Who wouldn't want to be in college another year, just sit around and party," Nix said. "But it's something to think about. I'm not sure yet, to be honest. It's something to consider. We got a lot of good guys coming back, potentially having Everett (Golson) coming back. It's a lot to think about."
 
Nix, perhaps, simply isn't ready to close the door on his college career. With three games left this season, it's too early for any doors to be shut.
 
"I mean, who knows. Anything could happen," Nix said. "I believe football will still be there. I've been lucky enough to not have a serious injury. It's just a lot to think about.
 
"Seven figures? That's nothing."
 
Of course, that came from the guy who said he purposely wore sweats during early informal warmups Saturday -- seemingly indicating he might not play vs. Pitt -- to prank the media.
 
"That was intentional, going out on the field with my sweats on," Nix said. "Just wanted to mess with you guys a little bit."
 
 
Nix returned to action Saturday after missing Notre Dame's previous two games with two knee issues -- tendinitis and a meniscus tear. He wasn't messing around, either, once the game kicked off. Nix played 63 snaps, hardly looking like someone limited by an injury.
 
"He fought through it," coach Brian Kelly said. "He was clearly a guy that wants to win. His competitive spirit was out there, and he played a lot of snaps, a lot more than we thought he could. He didn't want to come out of the game."
 
With his knee issues and an all-but-certain top-15 selection in next year's NFL Draft, it was fair to question why Nix would even bother to return to a Notre Dame team that isn't playing for much. It's the same argument made in support of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who missed time with a somewhat-ambiguous injury earlier this season.
 
For Nix, though, ducking out on Notre Dame and awaiting a big payday was never on his mind. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection into his knee and will require surgery to repair his torn meniscus  after the season, but didn't play with any reservations on Saturday as evidenced by those 63 snaps he played.
 
"I just wanted to get back out and play. I wasn't thinking about injuries," Nix said. "I just go out and do my job and play. That's all I think about it."
 
Even with all the likely deadpanning about returning for a fifth year, it'd be a surprise if next Saturday wasn't Nix's final game at Notre Dame Stadium. He'll graduate with a degree in film, television and theater studies in December and will be joined by his mom and dad before Notre Dame's senior day game.
 
[MORE: Kelly hopes targeting rule changes after Tuitt ejection]

Nix, though, said he's not approaching the BYU game as his last in South Bend, even if it is.
 
"That's not my mindset. My mindset is winning that game," Nix said. I just want to win, go out with a blast, wear that black jersey -- nah, I'm just kidding."
 
That last line was classic Irish Chocolate, though he missed an opportunity to joke about playing on artificial turf and in the shadow of a video board next year. But of course, Nix didn't miss another opportunity to mess around with whoever's in earshot on Tuesday.
 
"I mean, coach could possibly put me in for a play," Nix said when asked about reprising his spring game quarterback role vs. BYU. "That's something he might be thinking about. But I think it would be a good idea.
 
"I wouldn't mind going in for one last time. Ooh, I said one last time," a bemused Nix added while cracking up. "I'm just messing with y'all, man."
 
That's just who Louis Nix -- or Irish Chocolate -- is. Not the knee injury, the 7-3 season or the lavish NFL paycheck awaiting him have changed that.