A quick recap of some news of note that have occurred over the past week or so....
The second wave of early enrollment football players are now on campus and taking classes with their new teammates. Jimmy Clausen, Armando Allen, and Gary Gray are all expected to participate in spring drills and play in the Blue and Gold game this spring. It's possible that Allen, who is still recovering from a leg injury, might sit out the game -- like James Aldridge did last year -- if his progress isn't to the liking of the coaching and medical staff. Clausen, who endured all of the spiky haired ridicule that Quinn somehow avoided will look to continue to follow in Brady's footsteps and take over the starting QB role as a freshman. Gray will hit the weights and try to crack a secondary that is quickly filling up with talented players.
He's got a knee
Speaking of Quinn, the Cingular Player of the Year announced that he will sit out the Senior Bowl this weekend due to a knee injury. Quinn will still take part in the week long meet and greets that are an integral part of the post-season bowl game, but after meeting with doctors decided it was in his best interest to rest his knee.
"I don't know exactly when it happened," said Quinn. "I don't think it was on a sack.With Samardzija opting for baseball and Quinn sticking to the social side of the Senior Bowl, that leaves Rhema McKnight, Ryan Harris, and Victor Abiamiri as the last remaining Irish reps in the game.
I think I got hit one time after I threw a ball away. "It's nothing major, just a minor issue with some swelling. It's similar to the injury Peyton Manning had after his senior season."
Headed North by Northwest
I can't really find any other mention of this, but it looks like Joey Hiben, who left the football team to concentrate on his studies has transfered to Minnesota.
Joe Hiben of Waconia, who earned a football scholarship to Notre Dame and then decided to leave and enroll at Minnesota, will be a good addition to the Gophers track team. He threw the shot put 61 feet in high school.I wouldn't be surprised to see him pop back up on the Golden Gopher football roster in the future considering he's an athletic tight end and Minnesota just hired the former Denver Broncos tight end coach.
Funny note from the practices for the Shrine Game last week.
Noteworthy: Notre Dame guard Dan Santucci got an offensive linemen's dream when Michigan State defensive tackle Clifton Ryan deflected a screen pass into Santucci's arms. Santucci ran about 30 yards with the ball, though none of the defensive players seemed too motivated to tackle him. …Maybe those trick passes to Ryan Harris that ND tried a few times should have gone Santucci's way.
Stuck between stations
Coach Minter, who is in Mobile at the Senior Bowl with other recently displaced coaches looking for work, offered up his take on his dismissel to ESPN's Ivan Maisel.
"I understand because I've been in his shoes," said Minter, the head coach at Cincinnati from 1994 to 2003. "You have to make some hard decisions. Would I have let me go if I were in his shoes? No. But I think Charlie will be more comfortable with somebody from the Belichick-Parcells family. Charlie has brought in a young guy who doesn't have my experience. But he'll be more comfortable with him."He has a good point about the experience aspect, but clearly things weren't going right with the Notre Dame defense. It makes you wonder if Charlie should have hired a different Rick Minter.