One Notre Dame player with local ties to the area is walk-on freshman cornerback Jesse Bongiovi. Bongiovi is the son of rock and roll legend Jon Bon Jovi, a former majority owner of the Philadelphia Soul.
However, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly assured reporters during training camp that Bongiovi earned his spot on the roster as a player and not due to his family ties.
"Jesse has earned his spot on the [roster]" Kelly recently told csnchicago.com. "He's a tough kid. The kids really like him. They respect him. They don't look at him as a rock star's son. They look at him as a kid that loves Notre Dame and wants to play football and help this team."
Bongiovi played high school football in Brooklyn and is not the only Notre Dame player with celebrity ties. Wide receiver Devaris Daniels is the son of Phillip Daniels, who played in the NFL from 1996-2010. Safety Austin Collinsworth is the son of former All-Pro Bengals receiver and current NBC broadcaster Chris Collinsworth. George and Josh Atkinson, a running back and a quarterback, respectively, are the sons of former Oakland Raider defensive back George Atkinson.