Meet Notre Dame kicker, Spencer Shrader

NOW: Meet Notre Dame kicker, Spencer Shrader

New Notre Dame kicker Spencer Shrader had his pick of the litter when it came to choosing the school where he would finish his career.

He started at the University of South Florida as a walk-on but quickly commanded the starting job.

Football is just one of Shrader's "jobs.” He was a broken ankle away from playing professional soccer in Brazil and started three businesses before he finished his undergraduate degree.

“He’s a really unique, mature individual who is thinking about life beyond the game of football,” said Head Coach Marcus Freeman. “And I think that’s part of what attracted him to Notre Dame. He could have gone to a lot of different places, but he understood this place.”

Notre Dame provided him with more than just football. The three businesses he runs include Shrader Athletics, Copper Fox Technologies, a brand design, web development and salesforce company, and Liberty Village, a Christian community providing resources for homeschooled students and families.

"Notre Dame was the right fit because of the multifaceted approach that I had here,” said Shrader. “I had the unique business strategy, with the networking opportunities and the connections, you're playing football at the highest level. And just the coaching staff and the people that I talked to were so invested in us as people, as well as players, that just felt like the right fit from the very beginning."

While Saturday's game versus Tennessee State was Shrader's first home game in an Irish uniform, he's actually sent one sailing on an opening kickoff in the House That Rockne Built before.

In 2020, Shrader booted the opening kickoff 49 yards for South Florida. That would be his only opportunity, as the Irish routed the Bulls, 52-to-0.

"It was a tough loss for us at USF at the time. But it was such an awesome experience for me and my family,” Shrader said. “I remember being on the buses and rolling into campus and seeing, like, the brick architecture in the stadium, and you just have this feeling of being in a historical place.”

“It's kind of magical in a sense,” he said. “And so I had a blast during that entire trip, even though it didn't end with the result that we wanted at the time. I just grew as a person, and I loved the environment. I love this place. And there was like a skycam that came around and the Notre Dame Irish song came on. I was just like, 'man, this is awesome.’ And so I think, yeah, that probably put a little bit of seed in my head at the time that I can maybe end up here someday."

Shrader was homeschooled and played high school football in Florida but he actually grew up in Indiana and has family in the Westfield area near the city.

He told me his family is very supportive and came to nearly all of his games at USF.

They were so excited when he made the decision to transfer to Notre Dame.

He says there are a ton of Irish football fans in the family.

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