The third of 14 children in a Joliet, Ill., family, Ruettiger struggled with dyslexia throughout childhood, but the condition was not diagnosed until he entered Holy Cross Junior College in South Bend, Ind. The school was across the street from the University of Notre Dame, which fueled Ruettiger’s desire to transfer and to make the Fighting Irish football team. Since Notre Dame Head Coach Ara Parseghian welcomed walk-ons, Ruettiger tried out and made the practice squad, despite being only 5’6” and 165 pounds. His unflagging hustle and determination earned him the respect of his teammates.
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Source: Today's Response