April 24 (Bloomberg) -- The oldest son of rock musician Jon Bon Jovi plans to join the University of Notre Dame’s football team as a non-scholarship player this year, according to Irish Sports Daily.
Jesse Bongiovi, who has played football and lacrosse at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, New York, told the website that he fell in love with Notre Dame when he was in eighth grade. He attended the school’s spring game last weekend.
“The culture here, the people here, the opportunities here, they’re unreal,” Bongiovi was quoted as saying by the Irish Sports Daily, an independent website that covers Notre Dame athletics. “They’re second to none. Given the opportunity to walk on to the team and become a part of this family was an easy decision for me.”
His father, the founder and lead singer of the rock band Bon Jovi, was a founding owner for the Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul. Bongiovi told Irish Sports Daily that his father, who attended last year’s national championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama, has been a longtime fan of the Fighting Irish and was friends with former coach Charlie Weis, a fellow New Jersey native.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Bongiovi said while he’d like to be a cornerback for Notre Dame, he’ll play wherever he can.
Notre Dame athletic department spokesman Michael Bertsch said 24 players made the football team’s 103-man roster as walk-ons last year. While scholarship football players sign a letter of intent on national signing day, which was Feb. 3, National Collegiate Athletic Association rules prevent teams from commenting about certain walk-ons until after the tryout period and tuition payments have been made to the school.
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