He expressed regret and knew he did a bad thing. And more than anything else, Derrell Hand thanks those who stuck by him as he went through his suspension from the beginning of training camp until last weekend.
And in that time, the junior from Philadelphia went from suspended to starter. Hand had been suspended the day before Notre Dame training camp started in August for soliciting a prostitute in South Bend.
"I think I survived it pretty well," Hand said. "I have a huge supporting cast. What happened was unfortunate. I learned a huge life lesson and I'm just happy I got a second chance to be a part of this Notre Dame family.
"These first four weeks couldn't have happened any better."
An injury to starter Justin Brown placed Hand in the lineup in his first game back. He said it was difficult to hear himself associated as someone with bad character but had a bunch of people helping him out.
And he wasn't surprised with the way Notre Dame chose to handle it, by allowing him to stay in school.
"I feel as though I'm a good kid," "I made a lot of close friends, students and faculty, and I just feel like what happened was bad but I feel Notre Dame handled it the way Notre Dame handles these things."
Other athletes may disagree -- basketball point guard Kyle McAlarney was suspended for a semester after being caught with marijuana -- but Hand is on campus and making an impact at a new position, defensive end.
"I found out about that before camp," Hand said. "We sat down and had that talk going into camp, during summer workouts and he felt as though I brought a little bit more beef to the line and he wanted to find another way to get me on the field."
Wenger Out This Week
Sophomore right guard Dan Wenger will not play against Purdue due to a left leg injury suffered against Michigan.
Wenger missed the Michigan State game and Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said the optimistic diagnosis would get him back for UCLA next week.
Weis said he didn't know if defensive end Justin Brown would be available this week or not.
He did say, though, that Brown is better than last week.
The Irish have their first in-season position move.
Freshman Andrew Nuss has moved from the defensive line -- where the Virginian started the season -- to the offensive line. He is the second player this season, joining sophomore Chris Stewart, to make the move from defensive line to offensive line.
-By Michael Rothstein of The Journal Gazette