Notre Dame's Louis Nix III: Irish big man's stats, highlights and more

Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Nose tackle Louis Nix III will be a big part of Notre Dame's attempts at stopping Alabama up front in the National Championship game, as the 326-pounder is the main disrupter up front for the No. 1 scoring defense in the country.

Louis Nix III probably turns the most heads off the field, but the huge nose tackle will be a big part of Notre Dame's attempts to stop Alabama's power run game up front.

Nix is 6-foot-3 and 326 pounds, and finds himself right at the center of Notre Dame's 3-4 defense - a unit that only allowed 10.3 points per game this year, the best figure in the country. That puts him right in the crosshairs of Alabama's attack. Behind center Barrett Jones and guard Chase Warmack, each considered the best at their position in the country, Alabama looks to run all day. Eddie Lacy was the SEC title game MVP, but his backup T.J. Yeldon had 1,000 yards on the ground as well. Nix's strength will be the key to their ability to keep Alabama's blockers from opening holes inside and will allow linebackers like Heisman finalist Manti Te'o to flow to the ball and stop Alabama's running game in its tracks.

Nix's stats aren't spectacular - he's eighth on the team with 45 tackles - but his contributions up front are huge for the team as a hole. He's just as big off the field as on it, as he has quite the presence on social media: Nix bills himself as "Irish Chocolate", host to his own YouTube channel where he hosts the "Chocolate News".

Nix is a two-year starter on the defensive line, and has already announced he'll return for his senior year to get his degree. Bill Connelly mentioned Nix as part of the best 3-4 line in the country in his BCS National Championship Game preview, while Andy Hutchins called Notre Dame the best SEC team not in the SEC.

Here's a highlight reel of Notre Dame's defense in 2012: Nix is the big guy up front wearing No. 9.

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