Jimmy Clausen’s three-year career at the University of Notre Dame was inconsistent at best. Very early in his high school career, Clausen was heralded as the top player in his class, even being featured in a SportsCenter piece and being tabbed “The Kid with the Golden Arm” by Sports Illustrated. He committed to the most famous and tradition-rich school in the country – and led the Fighting Irish to a 3-7 record in ten starts as a freshman. In his sophomore season, Notre Dame won seven games (with the bowl), but Clausen threw 17 interceptions. And in his Junior season, Clausen sported a remarkable 28-to-4 TD-to-INT ratio, yet the team won just six games.
For a potential top-5 (or even #1 overall) pick, plenty of questions remain for the quarterback. Who is the real Jimmy Clausen? How long will it take him to adjust to the NFL after his struggles transitioning to the college game? Is he a winner? Those questions are on the minds of several NFL coaches and GMs. And, while we will not be able to answer them for several years, we will know where he will answer those questions on April 22nd at the NFL Draft.
Jimmy Clausen joined the First Call on KFNS in St. Louis to talk about his improvement last season, comments about being cocky, the combine, his foot, and Sam Bradford.
On his improvement last season:
“It was a good season statistically. Coach Weis did a great job in the off-season with watching a lot of tape with me of Tom Brady. We were just cutting down my game and trying to make my turnover margin better. And with interceptions, I think I went from 17 to four last year. ”
On how his style differs from Sam Bradford:
“He has some of the strengths that I have like accuracy. Some other ones that I have are my durability playing with two torn tendons this entire season. And playing under Coach Weis in a Pro-Style offense under center for the past three seasons. And I have four, come-from-behind victories in the fourth-quarter. Just having the ball in my hands in the last quarter or the last play of the game is something I strive on. I just love that feeling of my team coming back and winning the game for my team.”
On his reaction to comments about being “cocky:”
“To be honest, you would have to ask the guys I play with. It’s hard for me to sit here and say that I am a great leader or a great person. You would have to ask guys like Golden Tate or Eric Olsen, my center. I just love the game of football so much. When I am on the field, I am so passionate about it. Some people may say that that’s arrogant or that I am cocky. That’s just my love of the game.”
On his experience of the Combine:
“I just say it was awesome. It was an awesome experience. A lot of guys say it’s long days or tiring, but to tell you the truth, it’s a dream come true. Hopefully here in a few months my name will be called here for the draft. I’ve been thinking about playing in the National Football League my entire life. It’s just a dream come true and I am having fun with the whole experience.”
On his meeting with executives and coaches for St. Louis:
“I met with all of them. They were one of my meetings on Saturday night. It was the second meeting for me. It was a great meeting. I got to meet all those guys for the first time. They are really energetic and I would love to play for them. (Host: Did they indicate that they would bring you in to St. Louis for a meeting?) I think they were talking with my agent about that, but when I went in there we watched a lot of tape and they asked me a few questions and I asked them a few questions. The 15 minutes goes really, really fast.”
And on the health of his toe:
“My toe is feeling better. There was a lot of walking around going on at the combine and I had to get back to Southern California to rehab. But it’s feeling pretty good right now and I’m just getting ready for (my Pro Day) April 9th.