Notre Dame, Ind (UHND.com) — Notre Dame received the biggest verbal commitment in recent Irish history on Saturday with the verbal commitment of Oaks Christian High School quarterback Jimmy Clausen.
In front of a crowd of some 250 people and camera crews from ESPN at the College Football Hall of Fame, the six foot three, 200 pound gunslinger announced that he was coming to Notre Dame to play for the Irish and head coach Charlie Weis.
If Clausen lives up to the hype he won’t be a stranger to the College Football Hall of Fame as some have tabbed him as the Lebron James of football. He should be the consensus #1 rated prep player in the country this year and is receiving more hype than any quarterback to come out of California since John Elway.
The senior to be will also graduate in December and enroll at Notre Dame in January allowing him to participate in Spring ball and compete for the starting quarterback position in 2007 after Brady Quinn graduates.
His stats speak for themselves — over 7,000 yards passing, 88 touchdowns, and just 11 interceptions while compiling a record of 27-0 over the last two seasons as a starter at Oaks Christian.
This isn’t just a normal commitment from a top ranked quarterback though. This kid is receiving more hype than any high school football player in a long time and is the biggest commitment Notre Dame has received since Ron Powlus signed as the national player of the year back in 1993.
This is the kind of commitment Notre Dame simply has not gotten over the last decade. Powlus was the last commitment Notre Dame had gotten from a #1 ranked recruit some 13 years ago. Sure the Irish have gotten a lot of highly talented recruits in that time, but none with the talent or hype of Jimmy Clausen.
With Clausen on board, Charlie Weis has secured his top quarterback before the calendar has reached May. He also secured the commitment of the #1 prospect in the country who already began recruiting the other top ranked recruits who were on campus this weekend.
This commitment is also significant because Clausen has said he wasn’t even thinking of Notre Dame until Weis took over and started recruiting him last year while other coaches were working on last year’s class.
It’s a sign that recruits look at Notre Dame as a place that will prepare them for the NFL better than other schools. Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s this was a given, but this has not been the case at Notre Dame since Holtz left after the 1996 season.
With Clausen working on other high school recruits around the country, this could give Notre Dame some major momentum in recruiting this year — especially on the offensive side of the ball. Receiver is a major area of need this year in recruiting and with the #1 quarterback and a pro-style offense, selling the top notch receivers in the country on Notre Dame just got easier.
This year’s recruiting class was the best Notre Dame has had in over a decade and with the early commitment of Clausen to go along with Aaron Nagel and Kerry Neal, Weis and staff are positioning themselves to land an even better class this year.