Jesse Bongiovi and his biggest fan, his dad Jon Bon Jovi. (AP/Startraksphoto.com)
Rudy, Rudy, Rudy … Bon Jovi, Bon Jovi, Bon Jovi!
Notre Dame football fans might be chanting a new name this season as Jon Bon Jovi's son, Jesse Bongiovi, has earned a spot on the esteemed Fighting Irish football team as a walk-on.
The 18-year-old freshman, who stands at 5-foot-9 and weighs 183 pounds, was a two-time letter winner in football at Brooklyn's Poly Prep High School. He made the Irish as a cornerback and is rocking the No. 34 jersey this season.
"Jesse has earned his spot on the 105[-man roster]," Notre Dame's head coach, Brian Kelly, said in early August. "He's a tough kid. The kids really like him. They respect him. They don't look at him as a rock star's son. They look at him as a kid that loves Notre Dame and wants to play football and help this team."
Jon Bon Jovi in the stands at Notre Dame vs. Temple. (YouTube)
Naturally, when Notre Dame kicked off their season this past Saturday with a 28-6 win over Temple University, Jesse's proud pop was in the stands to support him. The "It's My Life" singer was spotted in the crowd decked out in full blue and gold regalia. He must have been a little bummed that Jesse didn't log any time on the field.
The game, which marked Coach Kelly's 200th career win, was a strong start for the program, currently ranked 13th in the college coaches poll, No. 14 in the AP media poll, and No. 11 in Yahoo's 2014 Team Rankings. The team hopes to keep up the momentum from last year, when they went undefeated in the regular season and were beaten by the University of Alabama in the national championship game.
With Jesse on the team, we bet Fighting Irish fans are crossing their fingers that his rocker dad will take the stage during halftime one of these weekends. The band Chicago has played at halftime with the Notre Dame marching band on several occasions, perhaps Bon Jovi is next?
Jesse isn't the only A-list kid to snag a jersey this year at the university. Austin Collinsworth, the son of longtime Sunday Night Football announcer Cris Collinsworth, will enter his senior year with the team, while Torii Hunter Jr., the son of Detroit Tigers star Torii Hunter, and Corey Robinson, the son of NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson, both earned scholarships to play for the program as freshmen.
As the Irish face off against football powerhouse the University of Michigan on Saturday, let's hope the rock star spawn performs on the gridiron. We'd hate to see Jesse "livin' on a prayer" after only a couple of games.
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