|Gerome Sapp, photo from TheInsightfulPlayer.com|
Born in 1981, Gerome Sapp grew up in a tough area of Houston, raised by his mother with little in the way of extras to be found.
She helped steer him toward a successful path that later included an important role model in his high school football coach, Lee Malowitz. Sapp played football at Lamar High School in Houston where he became a Parade All-American defensive back as a junior and the top-ranked recruit in Texas as a senior. Acting upon his mother’s request to see the world, Sapp left Texas and became a part of a Notre Dame defensive squad that scored more points than the offense. He then went on to play safety for five years in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts.
Q: How did you make the decision to leave Texas and play football at Notre Dame?
A: “I didn’t really know much about Notre Dame as a kid. When I was about 8 years old I remember seeing them on TV. I thought they were a professional team, though, because they were always on TV. At about 13 I realized they were actually a powerhouse college football team. Growing up I did not really like Notre Dame. Florida State was my favorite team and I loved Charlie Ward. When the movie “Rudy” came out, my whole perspective of Notre Dame changed. When you grow up in Texas, the only schools you are exposed to are Texas, Texas A&M, and maybe Oklahoma. Once I figured out what the essence of Notre Dame was, they moved to the top of the list.”
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