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Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, played as a walk-on with the Fighting Irish for all four years of college. It wasn’t until his senior year that he got his 27-second long moment.

Ruettiger will share that story at 7 p.m. today at the El Dorado Conference Center, as part of the SouthArk Lecture Series. The event is free and open to the public. South Arkansas Community College is paying $10,000 for the lecture.

Ruettiger is the son of an oil refinery worker and the third of 14 children. His lifelong dream was to play football for the University of Notre Dame. During his time at the college, he didn’t get to play in any of the games until the last one in his senior year.

During the 27 seconds he played, which were at the end of the last game of the season, Ruettiger sacked the quarterback as fans cheered him on.

In 1993, TriStar Productions took Ruettiger’s story to the big screen with the blockbuster film “Rudy.” The movie is continually ranked as one of the most inspiring films in history. It has a 78 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Now, Ruettiger is a motivational speaker who discusses his personal experiences of adversity and triumph. He has also co-authored several books, including “Rudy’s Insights for Winning in Life” and “Rudy’s Lessons for Young Champions.” Additionally, he has founded to Rudy Foundation, which provides scholarships in education, sports and performing arts.

The event is open to the public and Ruettiger will have a book signing after the lecture.

Michael Shine may be reached at 870-862-6611 or mshine@eldoradonews.com. Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook @MichaelAZShine for updates on Union County school news.

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