The 2015 BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl features one of the best matchups of any bowl game this season with Notre Dame taking on Ohio State.
A storyline within the matchup is the homecoming for former Hamilton Husky defensive back Cole Luke who starts for Notre Dame’s defense.
“It’s just so familiar having played my last high school game in the same stadium,” said Luke at Fiesta Bowl media day. “Obviously the outcome was great then so I am hoping for the same outcome now. It’s just different being able to play in front of your friends and family in your home state.”
This is not the first time that Luke has made a homecoming to the Valley of the Sun in an Irish uniform. He played at ASU in Sun Devil Stadium in 2014.
“It is kind of a little different than ASU last year because of the environment and the stadium we are playing in,” he explained. “I think it is going to be a great time. I am excited and really looking forward to it.”
Luke is still the playmaking defensive back we saw while he was in high school, but he acknowledged how much he has improved and grown as a player since he moved on to South Bend.
“It feels like yesterday I was playing high school ball with my boys,” Luke stated. “It’s crazy to see what I’ve become now. I feel like I have learned so much being at Notre Dame football-wise. I understand the game a lot more, I feel like in high school I was just running around trying to make plays. Now, I am a student of the game and I feel like I understand the game much more.”
Ahead for Luke, a matchup with the defending National Champions in Ohio State and an opportunity to go head to head with some of the best talent the sport has to offer.
“It’s a well anticipated game,” Luke mentioned. “A lot of people are looking forward to it. I think if we go out there and play our ball, Notre Dame football, we’re going to be fine, we will come out with a win.”
Luke said his teammates have asked about good places to eat and places to go but Luke said a lot of what they are all experiencing with the Fiesta Bowl experience is even new for him.
Luke and the Irish kick off against Ohio State for the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl at 11am New Years Day from University of Phoenix Stadium.