Quinn Ready for Heisman Hype

In a foreign country with his girlfriend over spring break, Brady Quinn was still recognized a few times.

"I got noticed a decent amount," the Heisman Trophy candidate said, "but maybe not as much as I would if I would have went somewhere in the states or maybe Mexico or something like that."

Mexico, maybe.

Welcome to Matt Leinart's world, sort of.

Notre Dame's first legit Heisman candidate since Reggie Brooks, Quinn is ready for the media swarm and all the hype.

"You guys can say all you want about that but it all reverts back to one thing, us winning every game and us winning the National Championship," Quinn said not surprisingly. "If we put ourselves in the position to win the National Championship, all those things will come with it."

Quinn and his teammates took the field for the start of spring practice, Tuesday.

"A little bit rusty obviously, putting us all together," Quinn explained. "I thought the defense looked pretty good and everything. Things obviously are kind of starting to form together but at the same time we looked kind of rusty. Plus it's kind of hard to tell without pads on."

This spring Quinn and receiver Rhema McKnight will try to find that same chemistry the two had when McKnight was his favorite target for two seasons. McKnight was hurt in the Michigan game last season, and has returned for a fifth season with a medical red-shirt.

"I think today there were some flashes of the connection we had in the past," Quinn said. "But again, spring ball is hard because you don't get as many reps as you want. You are trying to work on some young guys trying to get in there and get some time, and just kind of mixing things up. You don't always get as many plays with one another as you'd like but so far things are looking good."

Quinn won't get nearly as many reps as he wants with returning consensus first team All-American Jeff Samardzija. The standout receiver will only participate in six spring practices because of his baseball obligations.

"It is to me but he's obviously a tremendous athlete and he's someone I think that is needed on the baseball field," Quinn responded when ask if Samardzija's absence will be a big deal. "I wish I had him around more, he is fun to throw to, fun to play with but I think he is good enough to miss that amount of time, play very well on the baseball field and then come back and play well for football."

Samardzija was at the first practice.

"Just trying to get out there and get my work in," Samardzija said. "Obviously I have the limited number so I need to take full advantage of each one."

The senior receiver feels he can compensate for the missed practice time.

"That's where I come in, that's where I have to step it up," he said. "When I get my chances to get my work in, I've got to get it in. When I get chances to get extra work in, I've got to do that too. I'm not too worried about that just because I know the guys we've got around me, like Brady, that know myself and how we work."

Bob Morton came into the interview room sporting a new look. The big offensive lineman had the red-handle-bar mustache and buzz cut. The senior has started at both center and guard during his career. With starting center John Sullivan limited during the spring, Morton could find himself more in the middle than at guard, where he will likely start in the fall.

"I'll go where ever they need me to," Morton said. "That's something I've been notorious for since I've gotten here is playing guard or center. I haven't yet graced the tackle position, but I figure if they need me there too, I can help out. It's just a matter of wherever they tell me to go I'll go. Today I snapped the ball a little bit, we'll wait until tomorrow to see."

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