Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A snowy welcome | by Pat

Taking a look at the ND webcams, I'm sure that California native Jimmy Clausen, South Carolina native Gary Gray, and Florida native Armando Allen are just loving their decision to show up at ND a semester early. Nothing like a dumping of snow to welcome the warm weather trio to campus.

Normally, the new freshman are placed off-limits to the media by ND while they acclimate to their new surrounds. But that didn't stop the Miami Herald, which interviewed local star Armando Allen about his famous roommate, Clausen. In a bit of an odd move for an established paper, they made available the recorded audio of the call as well. Just follow the original link to find it. The informal nature of the call makes me think that the Herald sneaked in a phone call past the ND Sports Information Department and will be quickly placed in the ND media doghouse.

The article itself is no great shakes, as it contains many factual mistakes, such as wrongly claiming that the Clausen commitment was carried live on ESPN. But it does contain some fun anecdotes about Allen and Clausen already being hounded for interviews, and the audio features Allen talking about his new classes and playing football in the snow. It also contains a casual reference by Allen to Clausen's elbow that I'm guessing is going to turn into one of the bigger points of fan interest heading into spring football.

Allen said Clausen has sat out a few of the early 7-on-7 drills because of bone spurs in his throwing elbow.
It's too early to tell if anything will come of this, but with a big four-way QB battle royale brewing this spring, "injury" is probably a four-letter word for the quarterback quartet. With a limited number of reps in spring practice, sitting out even a few probably isn't even a consideration for the four as long as they can move their arm. Most fans have in their minds already narrowed the race down to Clausen or charismatic freshman Demetrius Jones, but in a recent radio interview on, Darius Walker predicted that Evan Sharpley would come out on top. My guess is that Clausen will participate in the spring drills and, if surgery is required, get it after the Blue-Gold game when he has the summer months to recover.