Christopher Bury | University of Notre Dame | TE/FB
Twitter: @chrisbury87 | Instagram: @chrisbury87
Q: Tell us about your college career and what the recruiting process was like. Why did you choose __University of Notre Dame____
A: I was originally recruited by Stonehill College in Easton, MA as a Tight End. Being from a smaller school in New Hampshire most of the schools I was looking at were local. Additionally, I had a procedure done on my shoulder my Senior spring of High School which made my options limited. Stonehill was my best option to excel in my academic and my athletic career. Stonehill offered a dual degree program that would allow me to get my Computer Science Degree in 3 years and then attend the University of Notre Dame to obtain my Computer Engineering Degree in two years. Stonehill also offer a competitive football program in Division II in the NE-10. Stonehill allowed me to challenge myself in the classroom and on the field. Additionally, with the option to attend Notre Dame after my first degree would allow me to continue to enhance my education and give me an opportunity to play at the next level of college football.
Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?
A: I believe that my biggest accomplishment would be walking on the football team at the University of Notre Dame. I transferred to Notre Dame initially in pursuit of my engineering degree. I trained on my own and practiced in hopes to earn a spot on the University of Notre Dame Football team. I was able to walk on to the team in the spring at a position where they historically have had a lot of success and a great tradition. While on the team, I also served as the starting Scout Team Tight End and was playing every day against one of the top rated defenses in the country. These were valuable reps that made me better as a player and helped our defense perform at a high level. I also worked with several Tight Ends in our group where each of the graduating starting Tight End over the past 3 years was drafted. The pursuit to be on the team was my greatest accomplishment because it took consistency and determination to get an opportunity and once I got my chance, I was able to make an impact to a great program.
Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from the coaching staff while playing at__University of Notre Dame___?
A: One of the most important things I learned while I was at the University of Notre Dame was many of the characteristics that it takes to be great do not take a lot of talent.
Our coaching staff would preach having a good attitude every day, having a laser focus, having an attention to detail, having Grit, and being smart. These were our characteristics that we had ingrained in us as players every day. We needed to be a champion in everything we did whether it was in the classroom or on the field. I realized that this is the type of things champions do every day and I needed to be the same to be in the 1%. These things did not take talent and it did not matter if you were a five star recruit or a zero star recruit but this is the culture we established on the team. All the guys that were high draft picks to walk on’s were working towards the same goal and had the same mindset. This mindset and attitude that I learned at Notre Dame was the most valuable thing I took away from my experience to be the best I can be as a player and as a person. I was able to apply this to my football game as well. Doing the small things such as correct technique and knowledge of the game is something any player can do to allow them to play at a high level. These small things done correctly would add up to make a big difference in the end and allow us to be successful.
Q: What was your major and what are your plans if football doesn’t work out?
A: I majored in Computer Science while at Stonehill College and Computer Engineering while at the University of Notre Dame. I am currently a Systems Engineer at Raytheon Company working on Integrated Missile Defense Systems for the government. I plan to work on something in the defense and /or aerospace field as there are many opportunities in a growing field and it also serves a greater purpose by protecting the soldiers and people that protect us every day. I always like having the bigger picture and having an impact in our national defense. I have been balancing working and training in pursuit of my ultimate goal over the last few years. Additionally for several more years while I was at school studying and playing football. I have always pursued to be the best I can be in all that I do which has allowed me to be very successful both on and off the field.
Q: What would your current/past teammates say about you and your qualities?
A: I believe that my teammates would say that I am a person that shows up every day to come to work and compete. Someone that puts his best foot forward and continue to get 1% better every single day. I have been told I am a good teammate that leads by example. I take every part of our preparation very seriously from the weight room, to the film room and from the practice field to the game field. I can be a person that they can count and rely on every day to be the best I can be and to do my job. One of my former teammates at the University of Notre Dame told me after one of my practices that I was “tougher and more technically sound” than the Tight Ends he faced on gameday. This is something that always stuck with me and allowed me to see what impact I had on the team. It showed that even though I was not making a huge stat line on Saturday’s that I was still improving and making the most of my time being surrounded by great players. My teammates knew that I would work every day to make myself better and in turn, I would be helping them so as a team we could achieve our ultimate goal on winning games.
Q: What has been one of the most memorable plays of your career at any level?
A: One of the most memorable plays I have had in my career was when I was at Stonehill playing at Saint Anselm College in our conference playoff week. We scored on a goal line play in the last few minutes of the game when we were trailing. The ball was on the 1 yard line and I was playing full back. Our quarterback did a QB sneak and got stopped initially but I was able to push the pile and help get the ball over the goal line. It was very exciting because we were all giving it our all to get into the end zone but we were not sure where the ball ended up until the referee gave the ‘Touchdown’ signal. It was a great come back as a team. I mostly remember the pandemonium on the field, and that overcome of joy I got to share with my teammates and my coaches. It was a huge team victory for us as a program and being able to share that excitement and joy with them is something I will always remember.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how do you manage it?
A: I think one of my biggest challenges is being considered undersized for my position and overall trying to get exposure with what I am able to bring to the table for an organization. I have managed this by being consistent in my work as I have previously mentioned. I constantly am working on my technique for blocking, route running and releases. I knew if I was technically sound it wouldn’t matter if I was bigger, shorter, slower or faster. I would be able to beat my opponent. As far as not getting enough exposure I again, with my consistency, have just continued to work and stay ready. I live in New Hampshire where football is not prominent. I knew my only option was to continue to work and I know when that opportunity comes I will be ready and an organization will not regret choosing me to be a part of their roster.
Q: If you could compare yourself to a pro athlete, who would that be and why?
A: If I could compare myself to any athlete it would be Jason Witten. Mr. Witten is very technically sound I every thing he does and that starts with his constant practice a repetition of his work. He may not be the faster out on the field but he wins with his technique and what he does every day before the game. He also is an outstanding blocking and receiving Tight End which is something I always strive to be which is balanced in my game. I can be in line, spread out or tight on the ball for goal line. I am able to run block, pass block and catch the ball. This is similar to how Mr. Witten is an all-purpose Tight End.
Q: What is your biggest strength that you bring to a professional team and why should pro scouts consider you?
A: I believe that my biggest strength is my consistency. I will show up every day looking to get better and improve myself and my teammates to ultimately help us win games. I know that great things take time and I am always willing to put in the work and compete. Additionally, I have shown that I am able to play with players at a high level being at the University of Notre Dame. I understand the culture of a winning program and what it takes to be in the 1%. Furthermore, I would say that given all my experience, I have a great intellect for the game. Film study is something that I take very seriously and it helped me with my preparation and readiness for the game. I know how important this is when you get to the highest level of football and it is something I added into my preparation starting from the beginning of High School. This has allowed me to advance in my career. All of this shows I had a consistency and balance to do all the things necessary to be great day in and day out.
Q: Are you involved in mentoring, a charity or do you “give back”/”pay it forward” in your community?
A: I work locally with high schools and middle schools at my gym to help with camps and with training for kids that are pursuing football. I want to act as a role model for kids in my area since there are not many people that have pursed football played high school where I grew up and I want to give guidance and advice where I can. I have always done mentoring for school since I was in High School to help students in the grades below me and be an active role model. Additionally, at our training facility, we have done fundraisers workouts for different charities and support different foundations in the area.
Q: How are you preparing for the 2020 National Scouting Combine and what are your goals?
A: I have been working out seven days a week consistently. I have been doing strength and speed days along with technique preparation. I am preparing to not only compete at the combine drills but also become a better, stronger and faster overall athlete that a team would want to put on their roster. My goals are to improve on my times from my Pro Days and be able to show that I am a bigger, faster and stronger athlete. Additionally, I want to be able to connect with more teams and show that I would be a valuable asset to their organization.
Q: What would be your ultimate achievement?
A: My ultimate achievement would be to be able to get an invite to work out with a team in the spring. If given the opportunity, I know that an organization would not regret giving me a chance to compete and work every day. I have proved myself several times from High school to Notre Dame and with my resilience and effort, these teams never regretted their investment in me and neither would another organization.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when not playing football?
A: When I am not playing football, I enjoy things that involve what I studied at school. I enjoy programming and working with Mobile Application Development. There are many opportunities and avenues to take with coding and I like to explore as much as I can. Additionally, I enjoy when I get the chance to work with players from my hometown in High School and Middle Schools to help them develop their football skills. When I was a kid, I always wanted someone to look up to who had pursued football at a high level and now that I can be that example for other student athletes, it is very rewarding. Additionally, I enjoy playing other sports such as golf, basketball, tennis and lacrosse just to stay active. I love the competition and being able to try different things with friends.
Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?
A: One of the most influential in my life was a former substitute teacher at my High School, Coach MacDonald. He taught several of my classes and was also a coach. He was heavily involved with Stonehill College as he used to coach there and was elected into their Hall of Fame. He was the one the originally put the idea of attending Stonehill College into my head. I had not looked at the school until October of my Senior year and he got me in touch with one of the coaches. He supported me the whole way and I am grateful he brought Stonehill College to my attention. Once I enrolled at Stonehill College, he would call and check in on me once a week to see how I was doing. He would even attend some of our practice and always made a point to see me after practice. Even when I first enrolled at Stonehill and had mentioned the program I was in where I would transfer to Notre Dame, he said to stick with it and if I go there then I should go play at Notre Dame. He originally put the idea in my head that it would be an option for me and that I should pursue big dreams for myself. He passed away my fall of my Sophomore year but I still will always remember how he believed in me and gave me the strength to pursue big goals. I always remember that throughout this whole process and know that if I continue to work everyday and put my best foot forward, the opportunity will be there. I have to thank him for that and I won’t ever forget the positive impact he has had on my life.
Q: What is something unique about you that people would find interesting?
A: When I was in High School I won best eyes as a superlative my Senior Year. Additionally, I was named one of 24 employees at my company for Outstanding Performance for the year 2019 in my business area of around 13,000 employees.