Jimmy Clausen Punched, but NFL Draft Status May Have Taken Worse Beating

Dave Finocchio@@DaveFinocchioSenior Writer INovember 24, 2009

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Notre Dame's junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen was punched outside CJ's, a South Bend burger joint, following ND's 2OT loss to Connecticut on Saturday evening.

Despite accounts that Clausen was supposedly "sucker-punched" by a fan after dinner with his parents and friends, it's fair to speculate that this incident might have an impact on Jimmy's projected draft status, and ultimately, his decision to leave or remain at Notre Dame for his senior year.

We can expect to find out more in the next few days as students will certainly leak the dirt, but regardless of the details, this isn't great news for the Clausen camp.

On the heels of Jay Cutler's prima dona media tour, followed by disastrous on field performance, don't think that NFL GM's won't place an extra emphasis on character this offseason. Regardless of whether or not Clausen did anything to provoke the dispute, this incident certaintly won't help his already shaky reputation as an arrogant, somewhat immature quarterback.

Remember, Clausen's College Football career started with a much publicized announcement at the College Football Hall of Fame that rubbed many on lookers the wrong way. Since that time, he's consistently barked at teammates on national television, and he clearly gets discouraged when things don't go this way. From an outside observer's standpoint, he's hardly the type of leader to whom NFL owners would gladly hand over $20-30 million in guaranteed cash.

Again, we'll wait to hear the details of the fight, but I think it's fair to speculate that this punch could cause Clausen to drop out of the top ten in the 2010 NFL draft, and perhaps even further.

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If that is indeed the case, it's more likely that he'll return to Notre Dame for his senior season, with the hopes of proving that he's worthy of being one of the tops picks in the 2011 NFL Draft.

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