Position Analysis: Quarterback

Brady Quinn is no longer a novice. 2005 will be the third year that Quinn has been a starter and it is now his time to shine. Finding a capable backup may be the biggest concern heading into fall camp. From the recruiting front, everything is going quite well.

While Brady Quinn has bulked up to 6-4, 232-pounds according to the official Notre Dame website, but his ability to handle the offensive playbook will be more important than lifting weights and gaining muscle mass. Notre Dame will go as far as Quinn "leads" it this year. Overall offensive production through his stewardship could potentially transcend the Notre Dame offense into a national power. Returning 10 offensive starters from last season as well as Darius Walker at tailback will make Quinn's job easier.

More to the point, when Quinn throws for big numbers the Irish lose. Notre Dame will need a balanced attack to help offset a defense that appears to once again be vulnerable at the cornerback position. As long as Quinn is effective within the passing game, minimizes mistakes, and makes the proper adjustments at the line of scrimmage the Notre Dame offense should push towards 30 points per game this season.

Quinn is not the most vocal young man in the world, but he is far from shy. With the early season slate being so treacherous it should be rather easy to tell how much of a leader Quinn truly is. Will he lead by example only or will he take charge and put players in the right positions when needed? He has shown flashes of doing the latter during his first two seasons as the starting quarterback so that is a good sign. There are bound to be several difficult circumstances early this year with four out of the first five games being away from the friendly confines of Notre Dame Stadium so Quinn will certainly have ample opportunities. Then Southern California comes to town after an off week for the Irish this Oct. 15…

Redshirt freshman Darrin Bragg has been moved to wide receiver. That leaves sophomore David Wolke and Evan Sharpley as the only other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. Depth is obviously a concern in case (knock on wood) Quinn would in fact suffer an injury and miss part of a game, let alone having to sit out an extended amount of time and miss several games.

Recruiting - Notre Dame quarterback recruiting has been a roller coaster for years. It finally appears to be back to normalcy with Sharpley now a part of the program and Pennsylvania native Zach Frazer committed for the class of 2006. Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis wants to sign two quarterbacks this year. The second slot will likely go to either Mitch Mustain or Demetrius Jones. Even if Notre Dame were unable to sign another signal caller to go with Frazer it would be fine with Frazer alone. Notre Dame will now have much needed Stability at the quarterback position.

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