The debate began weeks ago, but after a near-loss to Boston College on Saturday the question of Jimmy Clausen going to the NFL draft looms much larger now.
Get used to it Irish fans, Jimmy will go directly to Drew Rosenhaus, he will pass “Go,” and he will collect his $200 dollars (and more).
Say good-bye to snowy South Bend, Jimmy.
Say hello to the permafrost of downtown Buffalo.
Reason one for Clausen’s exit is the fact that the Irish will be breaking in three new offensive linemen next fall. The ever-overrated Sam Young will move on to a disappointingly mediocre NFL career, Paul Duncan will campaign for a job with the Calgary Stampeders, and Eric Olsen will head back to NYC to become the most intimidating firefighter on Staten Island.
Trevor Robinson and Chris Stewart will be back but please don’t remind me of Dan Wenger. Every time he enters the game Clausen gets molested or a member of the opposing linebacker corps throws him a head-fake and runs uncontested to the doomed ND running back.
There is no way Jimmy Clausen wants a rerun of his 34-sack freshman year and he won’t have the patience for Matt Romine or Taylor Dever. He’d rather play behind some NFL Berlin Wall because at least those sacks will be cushioned by all those comfy zeroes at the end of his bi-weekly paycheck.
Another motivating factor for Clausen will be the Irish run-game. At some point during the 2009 season Jimmy will discover that (a) Armando is not who we thought he was, (b) anemic people bleed faster than Robert Hughes runs, and (c) the next time an ND back breaks a long touchdown run will be the first time.
It’s too hard to orchestrate an offense devoid of a running threat. That alone could be enough to push Clausen to The League.
Wide Receiver depth isn’t helping either. Clausen spent the BC game throwing to a triple-covered Golden Tate, a 5’6 19-year old name Roby, and a waste-of-Division-I-scholarship-money named John Goodman who ran out of bounds on both of his catches so fast you would have thought Alex Flanegan was yelling to him for either a date or an interview.
Hey John, feel free to fight for an extra yard or two. I haven’t seen a lack of toughness so overt since Deion Sanders tried to tackle someone.
Of course, Deion would be a welcome sight for the Irish defensive backfield these days, even if he is 42 years old. A passing D that lies near the bottom of the college football statistical rankings won’t help keep Jimmy Clausen in town.
And don’t forget the cash. You can’t tell me that you don’t remember the College Football Hall of Fame, the red wind-breaker picture, the preening against Hawaii, and some of those post-TD celebrations that just erk us all wrong way.
Jimmy’s got some diva in him and divas love the Benjamins.
Jimmy has also watched Sam Bradford lose millions of dollars and dozens of draft spots with two fateful hits. Clausen won’t make that same mistake. He’ll hop in his limo and get to Radio City Music Hall as fast as he can next April.
Finally, there’s the Momma Clausen factor. She needs at least one son to make it to Monday Night Football. The family spent way to much money on QB guru Steve Clarkson over the years to get little more than three old quarterbacks with receding hairlines and thick scrapbooks.
Jimmy’s the last hope for the Clausen clan. He can’t let the fam down.
Notre Dame lacks wide receiver depth, a running game, pass defense, and a dependable offensive line. And that’s just 2009.
And not to make it worse for you or anything, but as Jimmy goes, so might go the Golden one. The program may be able to brag about two top-20 draft picks but Charlie Weis will have to deal with the loss of his two most important offensive weapons.
2010 may include a first-year signal caller, the oft-injury Michael Floyd, a greenhorn offensive line, and the usual lack of playmakers on defense, especially after Manti Teo decides to leave for the jungles of Mozambique and his Mormon mission
Wow, with all this good news Irish Nation can only hope Notre Dame could sculpt a 2010 schedule with programs like Western Michigan, Tulsa, and Army on the docket.
Does Jack Swarbrick know something we don’t?