SOUTH BEND – When Kona Schwenke arrived at Notre Dame as a freshman he was listed as weighing 245 pounds.
The 6-foot-3 senior is now listed at 303 pounds, and it wasn’t easy getting used to playing with the extra weight.
“It’s been a hard transition since freshman year because of my weight,” Schwenke said. “I feel like now I finally got used to my weight and I’m able to move around.”
Schwenke played in five games as a freshman and three as a sophomore, but was used mainly as a speed rusher off the edge.
He is now able to play nose guard or defensive end.
“He put that weight on to be able to anchor, and he’s ended up playing nose, so it is important to go to anchor and be that guy in a 3-4 defense,” left tackle Zack Martin said. “But also, if they put him in that four technique or maybe a five technique, he’s still got some quick moves. You have to be on your game because he’ll catch you.”
Schwenke said it wasn’t easy to make the transition of being a speed guy at end to being able to take on double teams in the middle of the line, but he was more than willing to try for the team.
“For me, it was where I could help the team, so for me, I just dove into it,” Schwenke said.
For more on Schwenke read Thursday’s Journal Gazette or return to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m.