"'Rudy' is both the nickname and underdog story of Daniel Ruettiger (Sean Astin), an ungifted runt from a working-class family in Illinois. His only gifts were a refusal to listen to everyone telling him to forget Notre Dame and a willingness to do whatever he had to do to make the team. Mostly, this amounted to serving as a human crash dummy for the varsity during practice sessions. Finally, he played the last 27 seconds of the last game of the season in 1975, against Georgia Tech, as thousands, including teammate Joe Montana, cheered him on. His gutsy spirit, which is what got him there, is what the film is about," writes Jay Carr.