Nic Weishar honors his brother

CHICAGO -- Nic Weishar signed his national letter of intent Wednesday to play for Notre Dame. The tight end was one of eight players at Marist High to put pen to paper and make his college decision official during a modest morning ceremony on Chicago's south side. He was 10 months removed from his verbal commitment to the Fighting Irish, a decision he arrived at through the most auspicious of signs, two falls ago.

On Oct. 12, 2012, his oldest brother, Andrew, died following a nearly three-year battle with colorectal cancer. He was 21. He had introduced Nic to tackle football when Nic was in second grade, ignoring his family's wishes and accelerating the growth of the most promising of the three Weishar boys.

"I still remember his grandfather telling me he thought I was crazy to put him in there," said Don, the boys' father. "Not that it was abnormally young; it was just that we had kind of a rule that we weren't going to play tackle that quick."

Andrew was Nic's biggest fan and his harshest critic. Because they were five years apart, and because they had middle brother Danny between them, the two never really developed a typical sibling rivalry.

Andrew was a two-way lineman at nearby Brother Rice High before he moved on to play defensive tackle at Division III Illinois-Wesleyan, where he earned extensive playing time as a freshman in 2009. A popular 19-year-old on track to become a starter his sophomore season, he was seemingly on top of the world entering the next semester.

To read Matt Fortuna's full story, click here.