With all of the hype surrounding Sam Bradford’s positive workout (ZOMG, look at his poise! And in shorts, no less. Think of how great he’ll be in a proper pair of pants.) we haven’t heard a whole lot about the draft’s presumptive number two quarterback. So what’s new with Jimmy Clausen? Well nothing, really, but someone out there has taken it upon himself to join Mel Kiper in bolstering the oft-criticized quarterback’s draft stock.
Draft analyst Mel Kiper, McShay’s ESPN colleague, has praised Clausen, saying he grew into an outstanding leader at Notre Dame. And Kiper is not alone in believing Clausen could become a top NFL quarterback.
Somebody else out there is confident that Clausen is a future star? Who? Who is this mystery man. I must know.
Vinny Cerrato, formerly Washington’s executive vice president of football operations, shares Kiper’s assessment of Clausen.
Here’s where we come to the first red flag, Vinny Cerrato as a talent evaluator. He’s terrible at it. Just awful.
Cerrato, who worked at Notre Dame in the late 1980s under Lou Holtz, said he has spoken with many people at the university about Clausen – and all of them gave him favorable reports.
See, he’s a great guy, just ask anyone affiliated with his school. Golden domers would never be anything less than truthful. Ultimately they have to answer to the Pope, and that guy knows something about accountability. This is our second red flag.
And as a favor to agent Gary Wichard, one of his longtime friends, Cerrato recently spent four days in California helping several of Wichard’s clients, Clausen among them, prepare for predraft interviews.
Oh, so he too is close personal friends with Wichard. Man, that guy sure is popular. He probably has a pool. I’d say Cerrato’s relationship with Clausen’s agent means we’ve found the third and final red flag.
But where did all of this start? If Clausen is the great teammate, then where did all of these reports of his immaturity and lack of leadership come from?
“I think Todd McShay started that, you know?”
Of course! Why didn’t we see it sooner? So Vinny, what did you learn when you talked to your people at Notre Dame?
“Here’s what they told me: As a sophomore, he didn’t get many votes to be captain. As a junior, [he] received every vote of all the members of the team to be the captain. And everybody told me [he was] a totally different kid from sophomore year to junior year. Really grew up, matured, became the leader of the team [and] took charge of everything. … He’s a totally mature guy.”
Totally mature! He has hair down there and everything. So what we can deduce from this is that Clausen arrived as a freshman with a sense of entitlement and a pervading immaturity that rubbed people the wrong way. Then he became a sophomore, and most people still hated him for being a brat. But then junior year rolled around and all of a sudden people got to know the new Jimmy Clausen. How much did they like what they saw? Enough to vote for their upperclass quarterback as one of the team captains. That rarely happens!
Clausen’s newfound leadership ability really came into play late in the season when the quarterback was able to rack up better than 450 yards passing in a 24-21 loss to mighty Navy. They would follow that up with three more losses to finish the regular season at 6-6. Again. Oh what a difference a year makes.
I wonder if there’s anything else Vinny could tell us about this remarkable young specimen.
“I mean, you know what he is? He’s a gym rat. He’s a football junkie. He loves to talk about football. He loves to watch film. He’s very smart about football coverages, all those things. And you know what? He plays with a passion. That’s the thing.”
And he’s never once forgotten his mother’s birthday, no matter what Todd McShay might try to tell you.
Second image stolen with malicious intent from Mister Irrelevant.