Chris Finke: All-Time Irish Hero
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
By: Phil Houk of Fighting Irish Preview
So, how many time have you heard the story? Chris Finke a diminutive walk on from Cleveland, Ohio came to South Bend in 2015. He was not expected to ever really contribute beyond the scout team. But through dogged determination he earned a scholarship, worked his way into the starting lineup, was a team Captain his Senior year and now is being honored as an All-Time Irish Hero? Heck, in some ways it's better than Rudy, after all the star of this one got a whole lot more playing time! Chris Finke, all 5-9, 175 pounds of him, was an after thought in the recruitment of safety Nick Coleman who attended his same high school. Coleman a high 3-star safety recruit, was considered to be the big catch—but Finke also caught Notre Dame’s eye during Coleman’s recruitment, and despite being an unrated player he was offered a preferred walk on position. Red shirted in year one, by his sophomore season he was turning heads and was awarded a scholarship. He caught 10 passes including 2 TDs that season and carved out a role on the team. Finke caught another handful of passes and added punt return duties in 2017. By 2018 he was fully incorporated in the ND offense. He started the season off with a spectacular TD catch against Michigan in the opener and finished the season with 49 catches, 571 yards and another 2 TDs. Known to his teammates as "the slippery fox" because of his ability to avoid tackles, Finke came back for his graduate year in 2019 and completed an improbable journey from walk on to team captain. On the field he continued to sparkle. By running precise routes out of the slot position, he added another 31 catches, 546 yards and 4 TDs. He also was counted on as a sure handed punt returner.
Finke signed a free agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers in the Spring of 2020 and remains a member of the organization.
At Notre Dame, Finke pieced together good skills, a knack for perseverance and an opportunity to walk on and went on to an outstanding career, that included being named a team Captain.
For that accomplishment Chris Finke is this week's All- Time Irish Hero.