Where did Rudy grow up?

Rudy grew up in Joliet, IL.  He is the first boy and is the third of fourteen children.

Where is the Real Rudy in the movie?

Rudy did actually have a cameo in the movie. Rudy was a fan in the stands during the last game where he made his famous tackle. He was sitting right behind Ned Beatty (Rudy's dad in the movie) and Ned actually tugs on Rudy's shirt when everyone was cheering. Rudy was wearing a coat and hat.

Has Rudy always liked football?  Did he play other sports too? 

Yes.  Rudy has always liked football.  As a small child he would watch the Notre Dame games on TV with his dad and his brothers.  Rudy also loved baseball, boxing, wrestling, and water skiing.  He was a championship boxer at Notre Dame.

What are Rudy's siblings doing today?  Did they all graduate college?

All of Rudy's brothers and sisters are healthy and happily married.  All of his brothers graduated college and most of them have their masters in education.  His brothers love to teach and coach children.  His sisters are wonderful mothers and are very involved with their church and schools. 

Where did Rudy go to college before Notre Dame?

Rudy went to Holy Cross Junior College for two years and then transferred to Notre Dame.  Holy Cross is located across the street from Notre Dame so it was easy for Rudy to stay involved with Notre Dame and spend a lot of time on campus.  Rudy had to work very hard at Holy Cross for those two years.  It was during his time at Holy Cross that Rudy was diagnosed with Dyslexia.  In order to maintain a “B” average he really had to learn how to study.  With the help of his teachers and tutors he was able to really focus on his grades and get the job done.  After 3 rejections from Notre Dame, his Dream to attend this prestigious University had finally come true.

Describe Rudy's Notre Dame Experience.

Rudy transferred to Notre Dame in the Fall of 1974.  His focus at Notre Dame was his studies.  Rudy was so inspired to actually attend this University, that had been such a Dream for him as a child, that he would do what ever it took to keep his grades up and earn the respect of his peers.  While at Notre Dame, Rudy developed another Dream to play football for the Fighting Irish.  Rudy walked on the team under the coaching staff of Ara Parseghian in 1974.  He played his guts out and treated every practice like it was a real game.  Rudy Never Quit and won the respect of his team mates.  It was this enthusiasm that eventually got Rudy in the game to live his second Dream.  While in the game Rudy saw an opportunity make his move.  He got the tackle.  “When the ball moved I moved,” said Rudy.  Rudy didn't get the tackle because he was lucky.  He prepared, he persevered.  He worked everyday and set his goals every day no matter how tough it got so when his opportunity came, he was ready.

Is the movie RUDY a True Story? 

Yes.  The movie RUDY is a True Story.  Rudy's Dream was real, the tackle was real, the carry off was real.  The Struggle was real.  The Victory was real.  The movie was made to tell a story that would inspire others – to let people know that no matter what the odds are, they can overcome them – they can win.  No matter what your background, your grades, your size – you can find a way.  It won't come easy.  The message is clear that you need to struggle, you need to prepare to earn your Dream.  It's all about The Dream, The Struggle, The Victory!

Did the Team actually lay the jerseys on the coach's desk?

The team did not actually lay the jerseys on the desk.  That scene was made to show the respect that the team had developed for Rudy.  The scene was based on a very true concept called Respect, so the scene had to be dramatic enough to show the major impact that the Team's respect had on Rudy and that all of Rudy's hard work and perseverance had on the Team.  In reality, the team captain, who speaks for the team, went to the coach and asked him to give Rudy a chance and let him play in a game.  When his opportunity came, Rudy was ready!

Is Rudy Still Friends with the Janitor?

The Janitor in the movie actually represents 3 different people who were very influential to Rudy during that time of his life.  When making the movie, they didn't want to leave out any important information but they did not have the time to develop all 3 people to show the impact that each person had on Rudy -  so all 3 characters were rolled into one in order to tell the story.

In the game Rudy participated in, did the offense actually decide on the field to go against the coach's set play, while throwing a half-back option pass, scoring a touchdown, and allowing the defense to thus come on the field again, or was this just embellished by the hollywood director?

THE 1975 SEASON WAS Dan Devine first year and the team did not do well with his transition. But the team did come around the following year. Also, the ncaa handcuffed the coaching staff my senior year only allowing 60 ballplayers to dress. That was the only year that rule was there.

So, now you can see why the seniors who were in that game that day did whatever they had the opportunity to do. Meaning if they got a chance to score they would go for it. Regardless of the play that was called.

It was not really meant for me, but some of the seniors came running off the field and said now it is your turn.

The film makers took artistic license to modify the game so it would create another obstacles and victory. It did happen but in order to show the teams support in the little time we had, this is how we had to show it. Hopefully you understand that the movie was more about the message of the dream struggle and victory.

What was Rudy's height and weight when he played for Notre Dame?

Rudy was 5'6" and weighed 165 lbs.


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Rudy Ruettiger

If you have any questions to add to the Frequently Asked Questions page, you may email us your questions to rudystaff@rudyinternational.com The Rudy Staff will review all questions and will post new questions if they are approved.