Notre Dame Notebook

By Adam Caparell - April 18, 2007

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Everyone knows that Tom Zbikowski isn't just one of the more athletic safeties and dangerous return man in the nation. He's also a pretty good boxer having already fought professionally and won. But what people may not know about Zbikowski is just how generous the Irish senior is.

After taking part in a March 6 boxing match, Zbikowski was able to raise $49,000 for charity, despite the match only being organized a week before it took place. He gave a reported $20,000 to coach Charlie Weis charity - Hannah & Friends, a nonprofit foundation that looks to provide a better quality of life for children and adults with special needs.

"That let's you know about people's heart," defensive coordinator Corwin Brown said. "The world needs people with bigger hearts and that's a plus."

Zbikowski has always felt the need to give back every since his brother had to endure two brain surgeries for a tumor. He remembers the stress put on his family during the ordeals and the financial strains it caused as well.

"I owe a lot to my family for just helping put it together," Zbikowski said. "The main thing is I just showed up and fought. It was the people who came that were putting a lot of money down and paying for tickets so I owe a lot to the people who made it what it was."

Zbikowski is back for his final season after bypassing the idea of leaving Notre Dame. He's now the unquestioned leader of the defense, anchoring the secondary.

Ready For Saturday: The Irish are anxious to close out spring practice with the annual Blue-Gold game at Notre Dame Stadium. For one, the players get a chance to really compete and have the crowd - who always show up in droves for the Irish - there to cheer on.

But Brown isn't putting anymore weight on Saturday's "practice" just because it's slightly more formal as well as the last one.

"It doesn't make one day weigh heavier than the next day," Brown said.

"The crowd matters, but what really matters is making plays, playing against competition, competing. When you have your individual battles, what did you do? Did you win, did you lose? Are you consistent? That's what really matters at the end of the day."

There's been a number of moves up and down the depth chart for the game, as well as some position changes.

"You'll see guys at different spots and that's something we do regularly," Brown said. "Across the board you'll see guys moving around and playing in different areas."

The moves afford the coaching staff to have a little more flexibility for the game, but it doesn't figure to have a drastic effect on their overall evaluations. Brown said the players will be judged collectively on the 15 spring practices and not on their performance in the spring game.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 10:00 PM on April 18, 2007

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