Unique essence of college football evident in Class of 2008

Updated: May 2, 2008, 1:29 AM ET
By Ivan Maisel | ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- They beamed and chatted with one another as if they were old friends. Pat Fitzgerald teased Lou Holtz that without the former Notre Dame coach's contribution to his career, they wouldn't have been chatting in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Thursday.

"If he had offered me a scholarship to Notre Dame," Fitzgerald said, "I wouldn't be here."

Fitzgerald, the pride of Carl Sandburg High in Orland Park, Ill., instead went to nearby Northwestern, where as a junior ...

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