All Eyes on Quinn

The transfer of sophomore quarterback Chris Olsen pushes freshman Brady Quinn into the driver's seat to compete for the backup quarterback position. Quinn will battle last year's backup Pat Dillingham for the job. The talent of Brady Quinn is obvious but can the Irish trust Quinn—a true freshman—to lead this team?

After a hectic media frenzy, Irish Eyes sat down with Brady Quinn to get his thoughts on the situation that had just unfolded. "I really have no idea," said Quinn of why Olsen transferred. "I was kind of unaware of his decision in leaving. We had orientation over the weekend and Pat (Dillingham) ended up calling me and telling me what happened. I really had no idea what it was about. All I know is I wish him the best of luck and I hope does well. I really have no idea and I didn't get to talk to him before he left."

The loss of the Olsen brothers opens up the door for Quinn but he says he'll miss both of them. "I miss Chris, he's a good friend of mine and Greg was a good friend of mine and it hurts to see them leave. It hurts this program because they're very talented athletes and I wish them the best of luck and I hope they do well wherever they end up."

Quinn has been receiving high praise from offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill Diedrick lately. We asked him if he felt he was pushing for the number two slot at quarterback. "It's really nice of him to say that. I always grade myself pretty tough as far as my performance. Right now I feel I really have a lot to work on. I still need to keep progressing. There are times where you hit some plateaus and some rough times. Right now I'm just trying to make everything consistent."

If Quinn becomes the backup, he could see considerable time in 2003—that's a lot of pressure for any freshman quarterback. Quinn says he won't change anything about how he prepares. "I always try to practice as I'm the starter. I really try to put a lot of pressure on myself—I try to play to the best of my ability at all times. When you try to make up situations like that for yourself you'll bring out the best in yourself when you do play. That's something I try to think about when I go out and practice."

Motivation is not something that Quinn is lacking. The Dublin Ohio native reported early this summer to work out with the team and he says this situation will not motive him more. "I was about as motivated as you can get. I really wouldn't say this will motivate me more. I just focus on improving my game and I can't worry about the other quarterbacks and what they are doing."

The Irish play Washington State on September 6th—less than two weeks away. We asked Quinn how he would feel if he was awarded the backup position. "I was hoping I would be playing this year—I'm sure every freshman thinks that way but sometimes that's not in the deck of cards. Whether I end up playing or not is God's plan for me and I will just have to deal with that—whatever comes."

Quinn got his first taste of the spotlight on Monday being a Notre Dame quarterback. Cameras and microphones surrounded him as he spoke to the media. Quinn says he's starting to get an idea of the magnitude of Notre Dame football and being a Notre Dame quarterback. "Anytime you have a bunch of cameras in your face, a bunch of lights and a bunch of people asking you questions you get a pretty good idea of the magnitude. That's why you come to Notre Dame though—you want that--you want to be in the spotlight."

I don't think most Irish fans understand what they have in Quinn. Nobody is going to out-work this player--nobody will study the playbook harder. Quinn should be a great quarterback for the Irish for many years to come because he has that cerebral understanding and work ethic that the great quarterbacks have. He might get thrust into action sooner than he is ready but Irish Eyes feels if anyone can handle it, it will be Quinn.


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