Notre Dame players began extending their congratulations to Chris Salvi on Twitter last week, and the school has confirmed the safety's good news: The former walk-on has earned a scholarship.
Salvi, a special teams ace, served as a game-day captain for the Irish's Oct. 29 game against Navy. He made a name for himself in a Sept. 17 win over Michigan State, when his pinball block on a first-quarter kickoff return took out a pair of Spartans and freed George Atkinson III for an 89-yard touchdown.
His father graduated from Notre Dame's law school, and Salvi grew up a Fighting Irish fan. But he did not initially get into the school. With no FBS scholarship offers, he went to Butler, an FCS school, before transferring to Notre Dame in 2009.
"Big Congrats to Chris Salvi on earning a scholarship for this upcoming year! Can't think of a guy who deserves it more. That's the dream!" Mike Golic Jr. posted on Twitter.
Salvi is also competing in Bengal Bouts, Notre Dame's intra-campus boxing competition, according to the school's website. He will fight in the 188-pound semifinals Tuesday at the Joyce Center.
Salvi will graduate in December and does not count as a fifth-year player.
As for fifth-year players, a school spokesman said that coach Brian Kelly hinted Monday that six players are going through the process of applying for a fifth year of eligibility, which the school is hoping will be finalized by the time spring practice starts on March 21. The school cannot say who until the players are approved by the Faculty Board on Athletics.