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Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Handing out Valentines at Notre Dame

By Matt Fortuna

Can you feel the love?

Everyone's favorite holiday is today, and so we will take the time here to send out a few Valentines to those who have caught the eye of Notre Dame nation this past season.

Gunner Kiel: Your surprise arrival on campus saved Notre Dame's recruiting class and has reinvigorated this fan base. You have never taken a college snap; no one knows what to expect; and you're currently the least experienced of the four undergrads competing for the starting quarterback job. In other words, you are currently the most popular, likable player on the roster. If nothing else, you deserve a little love after Les Miles' cheap shot on national signing day.

Cierre Wood: Jonas Gray received much of the attention for his breakout season. All anyone wants to talk about now is Amir Carlisle or Will Mahone. But you rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season, a feat that should not be overlooked. Here's a little appreciation for a stellar junior campaign.

T.J. Jones: Let's just say this day has had your name on it ever since Brian Kelly's now-infamous, purple-shaded face ripped into you on the sidelines in Week 1.

Tyler Eifert/Manti Te'o: You two passed up potential millions because of your love of school. That love should be reciprocated today. Glad to have you back.

Aaron Lynch: Your outstanding freshman season shows that you have a bright future. But please stop committing penalties after the whistle. Days like today can help bring out your softer side, which could help tone down some of your antics and keep your team out of harm's way. Then, Irish fans will really love you.

Dan Fox: Because Fabio is probably jealous of that long hair of yours.

Tony Alford: An interview with the Packers is flattering. And though you said your heart tells you that Notre Dame is where you belong -- NFL offer or not -- we figured a little extra love couldn't hurt, in case you have any second thoughts.

Ozzy Osbourne: Irish fans rallied against you more than anyone else this year. For that, you deserve some love on this special day.