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Friday, December 23, 2011
Will ND throw an NFL pass this year?

By Matt Fortuna

Darren Everson brings an interesting question in today's Wall Street Journal: Will a former Notre Dame player throw a pass in an NFL game this year?

Why ask, you ask? Simply, because it has happened in every single NFL season since 1944, the longest streak of any school.
With two weeks left this season, no Notre Dame alum has thrown a pass yet. Ex-Notre Dame stars Jimmy Clausen and Brady Quinn, who have both been NFL starters, are now both stuck on the sideline. Their chances from here on aren't great: Clausen is third on the Panthers' depth chart, and Quinn's Broncos are gunning for the playoffs and thus are unlikely to sit their starters.

Everson also notes that from 2004-06 — years in which no Irish quarterback threw an NFL pass — non-QBs Jerome Bettis, Hunter Smith, Arnaz Battle and Carlyle Holiday threw passes, leaving room for optimism with two weeks left in the NFL regular season.

Oregon is second in consecutive years with an alumnus throwing a pass in the NFL,  extending its streak to 63 years this season.