SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- At its highest population density, the three-bedroom house in Jacksonville, Fla., had 10 residents. Louis Nix III, who has 11 younger siblings and half-siblings, could have made a choice that would have allowed him to enlarge that house considerably. The 326-pound Notre Dame nose tackle could have decided to enter the NFL draft after the BCS title game. In a few months, he could have collected a seven-figure paycheck.
Yet the one person who would have benefitted the most from Nix turning pro begged him to stay in school. "My brothers and sisters, they didn't really care. My dad, he knew the decision was up to me. It was just my mom," Nix said on Monday after he and Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin announced their intentions to return to campus in 2013. "She called me every day like 'I can't wait to walk on the field with you for Senior Day.' In high school, she didn't get to do it with me. She barely made it to any of my games. She didn't do the Senior Day in high school and she cried. That was a big one for me."