SOUTH BEND, Ind. — While their focus is certainly on the moment as they continue their undefeated start to the 2023 season, Notre Dame also took Saturday to celebrate one of their greatest quarterbacks.

You could say that the memory of the late Johnny Lujack was on the Irish player’s minds on Saturday.

The former Heisman Trophy winner, who also had a memorable stint with the Bears, was honored by Notre Dame players during the game against Central Michigan in South Bend. Players wore a shamrock decal on the back of their helmets with the No. 32 in the middle, which is what Lujack wore during his years with the Fighting Irish.

They’d got on to beat Central Michigan 41-17 to improve to 4-0 on the season as they get ready to welcome No. 6 Ohio State this Saturday. It will be the Buckeyes’ first visit to South Bend since 1996.

Lujack, who died at the age of 98 on July 25 in Naples, Florida, was a three-time national champion, two-time unanimous All-American, and was the Heisman Trophy winner at Notre Dame in 1947.

His run with the Fighting Irish was so great in that last year that he was named the Associated Press’ Athlete of the Year.

Selected by the Bears with the fourth overall pick in the 1948 NFL Draft, Lujack had a brief but memorable stint with the team. In his four seasons, he was named to the Pro Bowl twice and was an NFL first team All-Pro in 1950, throwing for 6,295 yards and 41 touchdowns in 45 NFL games in Chicago.

Lujack still holds the Bears’ record for rushing touchdowns in a season (11-1950) and holds a share of the most scoring throws in a game with six, doing so against the Chicago Cardinals on December 11, 1949.

After the 1951 season, Lujack left the Bears to be an assistant coach for Frank Leahy at Notre Dame for the next two years before going into the car dealership business. He’d also do some football television commentary in the late 1950s and 1960s.