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Career yardage leaders for passing, rushing and receiving at Notre Dame.
Scott Horner/IndyStar

SOUTH BEND – Sam Mustipher was fascinated by the Russian hacking story and its influence on the U.S. election — like many Americans. He thought it was “crazy” and “interesting,” but perhaps for different reasons.

Notre Dame’s starting senior center is a computer science major, and once his football career is over, he plans to pursue a career in cybersecurity. He originally wanted to go into civil engineering, but then a family friend explained how this profession relates to sports.

“It’s like building a playbook,” Mustipher said. “Like a defense against hacking. It’s ultra-competitive and right up my alley.”

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The 6-2, 305-pound Mustipher wasn’t always interested in a career in technology; he just knew it “was going to be something major and something I had to learn eventually.” Mustipher was always good at math, liked science and in his junior year of high school, he took a programming class and learned how to build games. Once he arrived at Notre Dame, he enrolled in classes such as computer security, database concepts and networks, and will take one on algorithms this year. He’s identified consulting as a potential future job, in which he helps companies identify vulnerabilities so they can avoid being victims of a cyber attack.

“That’s why I want to do cybersecurity, because it’s in the news right now,” Mustipher said. “It’s in the now. You see companies every day getting hacked — like Target. And it’s like, I shop at these places so I want to stop this from happening.”

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