Jimmy Clausen Announces Commitment to Notre Dame during Press Conference at Hall of Fame
Jimmy Clausen, the consensus No. 1 high school quarterback recruit in the nation, verbally committed to Notre Dame during a highly anticipated news conference at the College Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 22.
The younger brother of recent Tennessee quarterbacks Casey and Rick Clausen, Jimmy is entering his senior year at Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, CA where he has thrown for over 7,000 yards and 88 touchdowns in just two seasons. He is 27-0 as a starting quarterback.
At least 300 Irish fans and members of the media gathered in the Hall of Fame’s Press Box where Clausen held court. After thanking his family and coaching staff, the calm and collect high school quarterback uttered the words hundreds of fans in attendance had been waiting patiently to hear.
“I’m very excited and proud to say that in January (2007) I’ll be attending the University of Notre Dame,” said Clausen.
A loud uproar engulfed the crowd and the applause was soon followed by a standing ovation. The 6-foot-3, 207-pound kid with blond spiked hair couldn’t help but smile from ear-to-ear.
“In closing, I’d like to thank coach (Charlie) Weis for having confidence in me throughout the recruiting process,” said Clausen. “I’m going to try to make this the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation this year. I look forward to meeting my future teammates this afternoon and work on doing everything I can to help us win National Championships. Thank you.”
The multiple national championships comment just about brought the house down. Clausen then took several questions from the media. Here is a transcription of the question and answer session:
(On why he made the decision to commit to Notre Dame)
CLAUSEN: It all comes down to coach Weis. Throughout the recruiting process he’s been straightforward with me. I just think this is a great situation. Every high school quarterback would want to play for coach Weis.
(On when he made the decision to come to Notre Dame)
CLAUSEN: About a week ago I thought this was the right decision for me. I talked to my family and they thought this was a good decision.
(On Charlie Weis’ reaction to the decision)
CLAUSEN: He was real excited. I told him yesterday after practice and he was real excited.
(On which recruits he will talk to about coming to Notre Dame)
CLAUSEN: There’s one right there, Marc Tyler (Tyler, a highly recruited running back and teammate of Clausen was in the audience – the crowd erupted after Clausen pointed him out).
(On if he will graduate from high school early so he can attend spring ball)
CLAUSEN: Yeah, my plans are to come (to Notre Dame) in January (2007). I’m taking extra classes in California right now so that I can do that.
(On why his hand – left, non-throwing hand – is in a cast)
CLAUSEN: I was just messing around with the guys and accidentally hit it on the garage. They just want to put it in a cast so it heals right. It’ll be off in a week or so.
(On the multiple rings adoring his right hand)
CLAUSEN: These are rings from the last three years, all championships. Two are state championships and the other one is from freshman year.
(On if he has talked to current Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn)
CLAUSEN: I talked to him a few times during practice. He just wanted to know if I was comfortable. He was real generous. He said, ‘If you have any questions or have something you want to talk about, just give me a call.’
(On if he was looking at Notre Dame prior to last year)
CLAUSEN: Honestly, I wasn’t really looking at Notre Dame until coach Weis came. Once he came, I guess he saw my highlight tape and offered me a scholarship. I was real honored and blessed to get a scholarship from a guy like coach Weis. He has three Super Bowl rings on his fingers. That what I’m here for, to try to get four National Championship rings on our fingers (crowd erupts yet again).
(On if having two older brothers who have played college football has helped)
CLAUSEN: It helps a lot. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my two older brothers helping me. It’s real special to have two older brothers who have been through this. It’s helped me get through things that a normal high school kid or player wouldn’t have to do, just because my two older brothers have gone through all of this.
(On announcing his decision at the College Football Hall of Fame)
CLAUSEN: It’s special. I’d like to end up here one day.