Quinn Making a Positive Impression

Steve Quinn's first day of camp last fall, his first day ever in a Notre Dame practice uniform, was unfortunately a memorable one. The freshman linebacker made a quick and bad impression on head coach Charlie Weis by having to return to the locker room and grab something, making him late for the practice field.

"See you at 6 a.m.," Weis told freshman linebacker Steve Quinn. Sprints were in order. Quinn was ready for his first day of spring ball.

"Much better," Quinn said. "The first day of camp was quite an experience. It was crazy."

Quinn's trying to make better impression this spring. An impression that says he deserves to be the starting Will linebacker heading into fall camp and beyond to the season. The 6-foot-3, 217-pound sophomore has been getting plenty of first team reps during the first two weeks of spring practice.

"I'm just studying the playbook and trying to learn as much as possible so when I get on the practice field, I know what I am doing and will be able to excel on the field," the Cherry Hill, N.J. product explained.

With Brandon Hoyte and Corey Mays taking almost all the reps last season, Quinn didn't see the field as a linebacker last season. He did make 108 special teams appearances, making four tackles.

"I was fortunate enough to get in on special teams help the team out and get some playing time," Quinn said.

Now Hoyte and Mays are gone, and every linebacker on the roster is looking at spring as this is their chance. Quinn's athletic ability could give him the edge at Will, where you are asked to cover a lot of screens and drop back in coverage more often. A two-way star at St. Joseph's Prep, Quinn caught 32 passes for 599 yards with four touchdowns at receiver his senior season. He also returned 18 punts for 195 yards. At linebacker, Quinn registered 74 tackles, including 14 for losses, with six sacks, two interceptions and three forced fumbles.

"I think my speed helps me out a lot, being able to cover and stuff like that," Quinn said.

The key will be for Quinn to keep his speed and gain some weight. The rigors of his first college season caused Quinn to lose some lbs. "I dropped a whole lot during the season so I had to put my weight back on and then some," he said.

Quinn has put on just four pounds, but hopes to report in the fall between 220-225 pounds, "to be able to compete," he said. Not bad for a sophomore. Put on five pounds a season and you have a nice-sized weak-side linebacker by the time Quinn graduates.

Linebacker is a huge question mark. "The linebackers aren't very good. I'm concerned about linebacker." Quinn and his teammates hear it. "That's understandable but we don't pay attention to that," he said. "We are just trying to compete to fill our roles. I don't know if it's spoken of, but we know what's going on and what we need to do. We all need to step it up."

Quinn was part of the front line on the kickoff-return unit, Wednesday, as the team got its first opportunity to work on this faze of the game. "I try to get my shots," Quinn laughed. "We're not really trying to kill each other but I try to get shots in."

Whether it's at linebacker or special teams, Quinn is trying to use spring ball as a springboard into the fall. "I just want to get myself as far ahead as possible," Quinn said. "When camp comes I really want to have an understanding of what I need to do and just get even better during camp."

And hopefully continue in making a good impression.

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