Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Fleming to honor fallen teammate Filer

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Notre Dame senior linebacker/defensive end Steve Filer suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice on Wednesday. His former Chicago Catholic League rival and current Fighting Irish teammate Darius Fleming plans to honor him by wearing his jersey in Saturday night's game against Maryland at FedEx Field.

Filer, a former Mt. Carmel standout, suffered what Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said appears to be a ACL injury, ending his college football career.

"Darius Fleming is going to wear his jersey for the Maryland game," Kelly said. "It's a tribute to him for not being able to play. I thought it was a pretty nice gesture."

Because their last names begin with the same letter, and Filer wears No. 46 while Fleming wears 45, the two have often been mistaken for each other during their careers.

"Honestly, I knew of Filer, but I really didn't know him until we started getting recruited," Fleming told the Sun-Times earlier this season. "I wasn't a big fan of his because he went to Mount Carmel and I went to St. Rita. After we got recruited, we started hanging out, and we've become great friends."

Filer has led the Irish in special teams tackles the past two seasons. He was also contributing as a pass-rush specialist this season.

"It's tough losing a senior, especially in a non-contact situation, and you lose a guy that's not going to play for Notre Dame anymore," Kelly said. "That's tough."

When asked how the injury happened, Kelly said: "It was a one-on-one pass-rushing drill. He planted and his knee went. It was one of those things you [see] and just feel sick about it." 

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Darius Fleming is my nephew and he is and always has been a stand up guy!! He has that type of compassion for everyone that he comes into contact with and this it the attributes that show in him above all else!! It is no surprise to anyone that truly knows him, as I stated earlier, "He's that type of stand up guy!" We are all so very sorry for Steve Filer and his family and we are praying for his speedy recovery and return to the football field soon. With much love and respect, Auntie Net.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on November 10, 2011 7:30 PM.

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