NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Funny thing about Louis Nix, he is whimsical, he is loquacious, he is funny and he is opinionated. The Notre Dame nose guard is all those things while also being pretty no-nonsense most of the time. For instance, the preseason All-American does not at all care for being known as an All-American.
"I really don't like it," Nix said of his preseason accolades. "For some reason people say I'm an All-American or whatever...they expect me to like make 10 tackles and I don't think they really watch me, because last year I barely made a tackle a game. I don't think people know actually what I do, but I get frustrated with that, because people expect me to make Manti (Te'o) tackles and interceptions and that's not my job."
And while Nix disdains his national recognition at the start of his senior season, he says he did not even know he is currently rated No. 3 on Mel Kiper, Jr's big board for the 2014 NFL Draft.
"It's no pressure to me," Nix said of his Kiper rating. "Louis Nix - I go out there every day just like my guys and we work hard. Despite the loss, despite anything we're going to continue to work."
Going to work these days means dealing with double-teams from opposing offensive lines. Nix has dealt with it before, but the heavy heaps of praise he has received since last season has meant that he has face even more doses of center-guard combo blocks through the first two games of 2013.
"Based on the defense we run, I know it's my job to take double-teams," said Nix. "I just do my job and if I have to step up and do more, I do more. Now I take my double-teams how I get them."
Irish head coach Brian Kelly called Nix "a beast" for the way he played against Michigan. In the past, the beast in Nix would come out in a bad way when he was dealing with opposing blockers.
"Last year (and) the year before, you come to the sideline and it was hard sometimes to communicate with him because he got so frustrated," said Kelly. "Now he comes to the sideline and you can communicate with him. He can give you the information that you need to get relative to what's going on out there."
When Nix is on the field he is far from the happy go lucky guy he is when he talks with reporters. He knows he has matured on Saturdays as well.
"On the sideline usually (if) we get in a funk or get down I get frustrated," Nix said of his maturity. "Especially when I didn't make the play or I couldn't do anything to stop it. Now I communicate with my coaches and teammates more instead of just getting mad at the whole situation we try to talk things out and sit down and evaluate it without getting too frustrated."
"I just think it came as the years went by," he continued. "I just got better at it. I learned if you don't get too much of a hot head you can focus more and you can just see things how (they are) instead of just getting too frustrated."
The first two games of the season have presented their own unique challenges, starting with Temple.
"If you know football, obviously Temple did like a dink and dunk," said Nix. "So, they threw the ball quick. There was not much I could do. They basically took the d-line out of the game. I was happy (Stephon) Tuitt got a sack, but I did ok I guess against Temple."
Nix calls his play in the Michigan game "fairly good" against what he says was a "good" offensive line. He had three penalties against the Owls and finished with just half a tackle before registering four tackles, including one for loss, against the Wolverines.
As Nix acknowledges though, his job is not about tackles. His job is about taking up space and drawing as many opposing blockers to him as possible to allow Irish linebackers room to roam. He has done a good job of that so far. Dan Fox leads the Irish with 20 tackles, followed by fellow inside linebacker Carlo Calabrese at 14, while Jarrett Grace has 10.
"I just do my job," said Nix. "If that helps us win then I'm all for it."
Next stop - Purdue.