Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Clausen interested in QB battle, more notes
By Matt Fortuna
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Jimmy Clausen is scheduled to fly out of town Wednesday morning, but the former Notre Dame signal caller is hoping to re-schedule his flight so he can get an in-person glimpse of the Irish's quarterback competition during the team's ninth spring practice.
The current reserve signal caller for the Carolina Panthers went through a four-man competition at the position during his freshman year in 2007, emerging as the starter for the Irish's second game.
"Oh man, it seems like a long, long time ago," Clausen said. "But it was a lot of fun. Coming in as a freshman — I came in early — it was kind of a whirlwind for me. Just learning the playbook and everything like that. But [Tommy Rees'] done a great job, [Andrew Hendrix's] done a great job and I'm looking forward to watching those guys this year."
He said he met Gunner Kiel on Monday, offering whatever advice he could to another early enrollee who entered Notre Dame with huge expectations following a decorated prep career.
"I talked to him yesterday for a little bit, introduced myself to him and just said good luck with everything," Clausen said. "If he needs anything just give me a call, we'll talk."
Some other pro day items, per Notre Dame officials:
Cornerback Robert Blanton's 40-yard dash time was in the low 4.5s. Linebacker Darius Fleming's was between 4.50-4.59. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, who also does color commentary for Notre Dame home games on NBC, said he can see Blanton playing safety at the next level.
Running back Jonas Gray, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Nov. 19, ran pass patterns and was able to explode and cut, and he did not wear a brace on his knee. Gray did not run a 40, saying he won't be able to until late May or early June, by which point it would be unnecessary.