Headliners: Rick Mirer, Demetrius Dubose
Four-Year Record: 41-8
Crowning Achievement at ND: Three Major Bowl Victories (’89 Orange, ’91 Sugar, ’92 Cotton)
Post-ND Achievements: Two First Rounders (Mirer, Smith)…Two Second Rounders (Dubose, Brooks)
Lou Holtz used the momentum from the 1988 National Championship to help land one of the nation’s highest rated classes the following spring. The gem that landed on campus in August was the best quarterback in the country, Rick Mirer. Despite the fact that he was a dropback passer that was sought after by almost every major school, Mirer chose Notre Dame’s option attack for the education and the chance to chase championships.
After playing understudy to Tony Rice during the ’89 campaign, Mirer quickly emerged as a leader and seized the starting position for his last three years on campus. After taking Notre Dame to three major bowls as starter and setting a slew of passing records, he moved on to the NFL and was picked #2 in the 1993 Draft.
His battery mate in the backfield was classmate Reggie Brooks, brother of former Irish running back Tony Brooks. He wasn’t nearly as highly touted as Tony, but Reggie handed in one of the most spectacular seasons in Notre Dame history his senior year piling up 1,372 yards at a staggering 8.0 yard per carry. He would join Mirer in the NFL, getting swooped up by the Washington Redskins in the second round. Jerome Bettis, Mirer, and Brooks actually ended up 1-2-3 in rookie of the year voting their first year in the league, the only time three players from the same school ever swept the top three slots.
On the opposite side of the ball Demetrius Dubose and Junior Bryant helped anchor a defense that shut down Steve Spurrier’s high-flying attack in the Sugar Bowl after the ’91 season. After productive careers in South Bend they both went on to log substantial time in the NFL.
This class was essential to Holtz continuing the momentum he’d built in his first three years in South Bend and provided key building blocks to Notre Dame piecing together a six year run where they were arguably the best program in college football.