Jimmy Clausen was the youngest of three brothers who all played quarterback in college. 6-2 , 220 pounds he had good size, a lightning fast release, and he was a perfect 42-0 as a prep quarterback out of Westlake Village, California. During his senior year there, he tossed an impressive 49 touchdown passes and was named as the USA Today offensive player of the year. He came to Notre Dame to play for Charlie Weis in 2007 as one of the most highly touted quarterback prospects ever.
In order to fill the void that Brady Quinn had left he was thrown right into the breach, becoming the Irish starter in the second game of his freshman season. Plagued by poor protection, he was sacked 34 times but still managed to throw for 1254 yards and 7 TDs in part time duty in 2007.
Overall, things were never perfect for Clausen at ND as the Irish lost football games and Clausen went through growing pains. After a 3-9 mark his Freshman year the Irish went 7-6 in year two. A highlight of that season was a win on Christmas Eve in the Hawaii Bowl. That day Clausen hit on 22 of 26 passes for 401 yards and five TDs, three of them to his top receiver, Golden Tate. Overall in year two, Clausen threw for 3,172 yards and 25 TDs.
Things still were not very good overall for the team in Clausen’s third season in what turned out to be Charlie Weis’s final year, but Clausen put up great numbers. 3,722 yards, a 69% completion rate, 28 TDs and only 4 interceptions. Those numbers however were not enough to save Charlie Weis’s job as the Irish went 6-6 and Clausen made the decision to turn pro.
In his three season college career, Clausen made his mark on the Notre Dame record book and despite the feelings many fans had about his cocky demeanor, he showed toughness on the field while playing with what was arguably a less than steller supporting cast. He frequently shook off injuries and keep competing.
Drafted in the second round by the Carolina Panthers Clausen pieced together a six year pro career, he returned to Notre Dame during the 2011 off-season and finished his degree in sociology.
ND starting quarterback from 2007-2009, Jimmy Clausen: another All-time Irish Hero.