Irish Narrow Quarterback Competition To 3

Whittled down to three instead of the two coach Charlie Weis wanted

May 30, 2007

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - The competition to replace Brady Quinn as Notre Dame's starting quarterback was narrowed to three Wednesday instead of the two coach Charlie Weis wanted.

Evan Sharpley, Jimmy Clausen and Demetrius Jones will vie for the job, Weis said.

"Each of these three young men brought something unique to the QB competition. Evan ran the operation the best, Jimmy threw the ball the best and Demetrius made the most plays. For these reasons, they will compete for playing time," Weis said.

That left sophomore Zach Frazer out of the running.

Weis had said before spring practice began that he wanted to narrow the competition to two QBs by late May.

Sharpley, Quinn's backup last season, is the only one of the three with game experience. He was in eight games last season, but threw just two passes, completing a 7-yarder against Michigan.

Clausen is the most highly touted player to arrive at Notre Dame since Ron Powlus in 1993. Clausen enrolled at Notre Dame in January after graduating from high school early.

Jones avoided possible controversy last week when prosecutors in LaPorte County dismissed a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession against Jones after the owner of a car he was driving said in court papers was sure Jones didn't know the marijuana was in the ashtray.

Notes: Weis also announced that cornerback Gary Gray, who enrolled in January after graduating from high school early, had shoulder surgery and is expected to miss the season. Gray was injured most of the spring. ... Notre Dame will use Big East officiating crews this season instead of crews from the Big Ten.