Ever since that white stretch-limo Hummer pulled up to the College Football Hall of Fame and Jimmy Clausen announced he was attending Notre Dame, he hasn't been able to hide. Since that time and up until Tuesday-which is when he's actually enrolling early in South Bend-he hasn't done anything on the field to taint himself while staying under the microscope.
The No. 1 player in Tom Lemming's Class of 2007 rankings didn't have a high school career that progressed. Instead, he maintained a flat line. All he did was not lose from the first snap to the last at Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, where he found himself sitting most second halves with the game already in hand by intermission.
The younger brother of former Tennessee quarterbacks Casey and Rick, he completed 194-of-281 passes while throwing for 3,428 yards and 49 touchdowns with six interceptions this season. As a sophomore, he passed for over 4,000 yards and as a junior he totaled 3,665 yards in the air.
For his three-year career as a starter, Clausen was 42-0 and racked up 146 TD passes.
Clausen was named the U.S. Army National Player of the Year at January's U.S Army All-American Bowl, the finale for the top high school players' careers across the country.
Lemming has called him an expected Heisman Candidate by the time he ends his sophomore year with the Irish, as well as possibly the most accomplished quarterback he's seen at this stage in his 28 years of scouting.
Playing on a dominating team with a great TB, he took charge early and was the undisputed team leader. This season he was exceptionally efficient at passing the ball, showed a quick set-up, smooth over the top delivery, no hesitation, and he could get rid of the ball in a hurry and threw the deep out with authority. He did a great job of reading defenses and showed that rare combination of touch and accuracy rarely seen in prep QB's. I was also impressed with the steam he put on his passes and always seemed to throw a catchable ball. It will be interesting to watch Jimmy (a mid-term grad) this next spring at Notre Dame. Should be an instant hit.