The Spring has begun and the QB race is on to replace Brady Quinn. Who it will be is up in the air, but by the end of the spring, Weis would like 2 guys to step up.
Clausen is the poster boy for all good things in Notre Dames Future, but is he ready to take the reigns now?
Jimmy Clausen -has been groomed to be a QB, but unlike the Marinovich Experiment, I think he has all the tools and mental capacity to handle the pressures that come with playing at Notre Dame. His throwing motion is smooth and his release quick. Very good attributes to have. He has good escapability, but is not the fastest guy. His size, 6'3" and 190+ pounds is a little light to take the beating the college game brings. Rumors of an elbow injury were put to rest today by Charlie at the Spring Presser. (Posted Earlier)
Clausen's numbers are enormous at any level, but his competition in High School was not the best. He is a pure winner, having never lost a start as a prep quarterback. Though he has good mobility, his speed would be the only question. His mechanics and poise are the most impressive things about him. He can take a team over and will succeed at Notre Dame, but it won't be this spring. He will have another chance in fall, but I can see Jimmy taking over in 2008.
Demetrius (Double D) Jones is another QB fighting for the opening day ball against Georgia Tech. Jones is out of Chicago and has impressive numbers as well. Jones threw for 2,300 yards and 25 touchdowns as a junior. He also rushed for 1,100 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was compared to Donovan McNabb coming out of High School. His elusiveness is what stands him out from the other 3 candidates. Looking at film from high school, DD showed a very strong arm and good touch on the out patterns. He came to ND at 6"3" and 190, but is now 6'4" and 205. Still a little light, but he can still elude the defenses. And by the looks of the new OL coming in, that may be an important factor for the coaches to look at. My concern is it looked like he was a run first QB. Not a good mix with the schedule the Irish will face in 2007.
Weis may use DD in situations, but I don't see him taking over the team in the fall. He never go a real chance to learn the offense this past season, but his speed and mobility will keep him in the hunt until the end. He was *The scout team quarterback for the week of MSU last season. Weis likes him quite a bit, but is that enough. "Demetrius Jones, whose main job is to resemble Stanton during this practice week. The freshman quarterback earned the honors for his dual threat ability of running and passing the ball. Weis said on Tuesday that he hoped Jones wasn’t the scout team player of the week because that would mean trouble for his defense on Saturday night. " “He looked pretty good yesterday; not perfect,” Weis said. “He didn’t get the game ball yet but he’s giving it a good look, I can tell you that. I told Demetrius in our team meeting on Tuesday, probably one of the most important people on our team this week was going to be him because he is the one who is going to emulate Stanton and the better look he can give us like Stanton, the better we can figure out what real problems we will have against a formidable offense. This is a heck of a quarterback we’re going against here.”
Zach Frazier is a prototypical QB from Western Pennsylvania. He came into ND at 6'4" and 210 lbs. and is now at the 215-220 range. He has good not great speed and played some running back in high school. His arm strength is very good and his touch is okay. He is a smart QB and shows poise when under pressure. Frazer holds the single season pass yardage record (3684 yds) for the state of Pennsylvania and he was named the AAA Player of the Year.
Zach is in a rough spot. He isn't being talked about by anyone to have a chance at the position, but he knows if given a chance he can do it. He doesn't know the offense real well and will probably not have a great chance to show his tools this spring.
Evan Sharpley has never had a chance to play except in mop up rolls behind Brady Quinn. The advantage he has is he ran the offense and knows Charlies plays and what he does and does not like. He is a great athlete who plays baseball for Notre Dame. This spring he will concentrate on Football and is expected to make all practices. Coming out of High School, Sharpley had all the tools, and numbers. He has a strong arm and posseses good touch on short passes (a must in this offense). His height 6'2" is not Quinn like, but he does show good mobility under pressure and will stand in the pocket making good decisions. He showed in the last spring game that he can play and took over the 2nd spot over David Wolke. Remember him? Probably not. He left the team after losing out to Evan. He also beat out two highly recruited freshmen QB's in the fall of 2006. They just happen to be his main competition this spring.
In my eyes, Sharpley is the man to beat for the position. He can do the job and he will do it well. This spring will be his stepping stone to the next level.
My prediction is this: Sharpley will be the starter with Jones being the main back-up. Jones' roll will be different than Sharpley last season, as he will see significant playing time in some games. As the year progresses and the Irish make it through the first two months of the season, Sharpley will show why he was recrutited by Notre Dame.
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