There was nothing about Jeff Samardzija's past that would have indicated that he could march into Wrigley Field and shut down the hefty-hitting Florida Marlins the way he did this past weekend.[details]
2005 (JUNIOR): A first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and ESPN.com ... second-team selection for the Walter Camp Football Foundation All-America team ... one of three finalists for the 2005 Biletnikoff Award, given annually to college football's top receiver by the Tallahassee (Fla.) Quarterback Club ... set a new Notre Dame single-season record for yards receiving (1,190) and touchdown catches (15) ... the first Notre Dame receiver since 1970 (Tom Gatewood) and the third Irish pass catcher ever to gain 1,000 yards receiving in a single season (one of four in ND history) ... has caught 71 passes for 1,190 yards (16.8-yard average) and 15 touchdowns ... ranks among all-time Irish leaders in season totals for catches (second with 71), receiving yards (third with 1,190) and receiving touchdowns (first with 15) ... also ranks among Notre Dame career leaders in receiving yards (10th with 1,517), receiving touchdowns (tied for fifth with 15) and catches (11th with 95) ... has surpassed 100 receiving yards in five games this season ... a first-team Midseason All-America selection by Sports Illustrated magazine ... has started all 11 games at receiver ... also serves on the hands team for onside kickoffs, is the holder on point-after and field goal attempts, and has played as a deep safety on defense in two games (Washington and USC) ... caught touchdown passes in eight consecutive games to start the season, the first Notre Dame player to do so to start a season, or in any eight-game stretch ... has caught at least one touchdown pass in 10 of 11 games this season ... caught three passes for 34 yards against Pittsburgh, including a 19-yard touchdown reception on a highlight-reel diving catch ... his touchdown versus the Panthers was the first of his career ... grabbed four passes for 52 yards at Michigan, including a five-yard scoring catch ... snared a key 26-yard reception on a third quarter 3rd-and-17 versus the Wolverines ... caught six passes for 96 yards and three touchdowns against Michigan State ... his touchdowns versus MSU went for 31, 18 and four yards, respectively ... tied a school record for single-game touchdown catches versus MSU (also held by six others) ... caught eight passes for 164 yards (20.5-yard average) and a touchdown against Washington ... had a 52-yard touchdown catch and another grab for 43 yards against the Huskies ... also batted away a pass as a deep safety on the final play of the first half against Washington ... caught seven passes for 153 yards (21.9-yard average) and two touchdowns in the win at Purdue ... made a spectacular one-handed leaping grab for a 41-yard gain to set up a score against the Boilermakers ... had scoring receptions of four and 55 yards versus Purdue ... wiggled loose of five tacklers after the catch on the 55-yard touchdown reception against the Boilermakers ... caught six passes for 99 yards (16.5-yard average) and one touchdown against USC ... had a 32-yard scoring catch versus the Trojans on a third-down play to tie the game at 14-14 in the second period ... had a single-game high 10 catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns in a 49-23 win over BYU ... combined with Maurice Stovall to comprise the first Notre Dame duo ever to have 10 or more catches in the same game as Stovall had 14 catches versus the Cougars ... grabbed seven passes for 127 yards (18.1-yard average) and a touchdown against Tennessee, including a career-long 73-yard catch ... the 73-yard grab on a short pattern keyed the go-ahead touchdown march for the Irish to break a 21-21 tie as he scored the subsequent score ... caught five passes for 42 yards in the win over Navy ... made seven catches for 80 yards and one touchdown in the win over Syracuse ... made a 29-yard scoring grab to give Notre Dame a 14-3 over the Orange late in the second period ... caught eight passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns in Notre Dame's 38-31 win over Stanford ... started the scoring versus Stanford by taking a short pass 80 yards for a touchdown on the game's second play from scrimmage, the longest catch of his Irish career ... also had a seven-yard scoring grab later in the opening period to give ND a 14-7 lead over the Cardinal ... has logged 304:17 of playing time with 79 special teams appearances.
2004 (SOPHOMORE): Played in all 12 games, making his first career start versus Oregon State in the Insight Bowl ... made 17 catches for 274 yards on the season, both career highs ... made three tackles on special teams ... caught three passes for 59 yards versus Purdue, including a career-long 41-yarder ... had four receptions for 65 yards versus Michigan State, including a 31-yard reception ... caught three passes for 48 yards versus Washington, including one for 22 yards ... had one reception for eight yards against Stanford ... caught one pass versus Navy for five yards ... enjoyed a career-best day in the Insight Bowl against Oregon State nabbing five passes for 89 yards, including a 29-yard catch ... made 70 special teams appearances and logged 175:37 of playing time.
2003 (FRESHMAN): Played in all l2 games as a freshman, making appearances at receiver in 11 games ... made seven catches for 53 yards (7.6 avg.) ... saw action versus Washington State and made his first career reception, a five-yard grab ... caught a pass for 11 yards against Michigan ... made one reception for 19 yards versus Michigan State ... had four receptions for 18 yards against Purdue ... played 35:32 and made 75 special teams appearances on the season.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Valparaiso (Ind.) High School ... finished second in voting for Mr. Football in Indiana and was named the state's top receiver ... honorable mention on the Detroit Free Press "Best of the Midwest" team ... named an All-American as a junior ... three-time all-state selection ... twice named team most valuable player ... caught 50 passes for 1,044 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior in 2002 ... also threw for two touchdowns and scored on a 65-yard run ... helped his team go 12-2 in 2002 and earn a state semifinals berth ... named to the Associated Press Indiana class 5A all-state first team ... made 40 tackles and three interceptions at free safety as a senior ... caught 55 passes for 1,197 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior, helping his team reach the Indiana Class 5A state title game ... played in the Indiana football all-star game ... also played basketball and baseball ... was a three-year letterman in baseball while lettering once in basketball ... had a .481 batting average with eight home runs and 50 RBI as a senior ... hit .375 with five home runs and 37 RBI as a junior ... also played in the Indiana baseball all-star game ... was a first-team all-state honoree as a centerfielder ... never missed a start in all three sports in three seasons (over 160 games) ... full name is Jeffrey Alan Samardzija ... one of two children ... nicknamed "Shark" ... born Jan. 23, 1985, in Merrillville, Ind. ... enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business with a major in marketing.