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Irish players gear up for emotional Senior Night

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - No matter who you ask, each Notre Dame football player describes running out of the tunnel at home as an emotional experience.

“You’ve got your family there, your friends there, and all the students there," said senior wide receiver Chris Finke. "It’s always fun to make them proud.”

Those factors will make this weekend's matchup against Florida State a bit more meaningful to several Irish players, taking in their final moments at Notre Dame Stadium.

“It’ll be cool to go out there at midfield and see my parents," Finke continued, "knowing it’s the last home game of the season and all this time is culminating and it should be a special moment.”

Senior Day brings plenty of emotions, both for the outgoing players and their families.

Positive or not, it's also another test of the focus the Irish are hoping to keep as they go for their 10th win of the year.

“I really don’t think it’s going to hit me until after the game," Miles Boykin said. "I know my mom is going to be crying and emotional but I can’t take those emotions into the game. But it’s still special to me.”

There actually are a few Irish players who already experienced those emotions a year ago before ultimately deciding to return for one more campaign in South Bend.

Now, they're gearing up for what will be their final go-'round at Notre Dame Stadium.

Sam Mustipher / ND Senior Captain

“It’s really just enjoying the moment," said lineman and captain Sam Mustipher. "Taking the opportunity to celebrate with your brothers, your teammates, the guys you came in with. I feel like that’s the most important part.”

His fellow graduate student and captain Drue Tranquill echoed those sentiments.

“It’s crazy to think that it’s the last time I’ll be running out there in a gold helmet," he said. "I’m just grateful for every experience I’ve had in there and grateful I have another opportunity.”

Another senior set to be recognized before the Irish meet the Seminoles is quarterback Brandon Wimbush, now thrust back into the starting role with a chance to keep the Irish on pace for an undefeated season.

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