Clausen and Tate Recognized

Irish one of only two teams with a pair of semifinalists for collegiate player of the year

The following is a release courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics:

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. - University of Notre Dame junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen and junior wide receiver Golden Tate were both selected as semifinalists for the 2009 Maxwell Award, presented annually to college football's player of the year, the Maxwell Football Club announced Wednesday.

Clausen and Tate were two of 16 semifinalists and Notre Dame joined Texas as the only schools with multiple semifinalists. Clausen was one of six quarterbacks to make the list while Tate was one of two wide receivers selected a semifinalist.

Clausen has completed 66.9 percent of his passes this year for 2,318 yards with 18 touchdowns and two interceptions. He ranks second nationally in passing efficiency (164.3) and is in the top 15 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in 11 passing categories.

Clausen has been at his best this season late in the game and in clutch situations. He has led Notre Dame to a school record four fourth-quarter comebacks this year and passed for 561 yards and six touchdowns while rushing for another score in fourth quarters this season. When tied or trailing in 2009, Clausen has accounted for 13 touchdowns and no turnovers.

Tate has been a beneficiary of Clausen's accuracy this season as he has totaled 56 receptions for 927 yards and nine receiving touchdowns. He has added 155 yards on 19 rushes (8.2 average) with two rushing touchdowns. Tate is tied for second in the FBS in touchdown catches, ranks third in total receiving yards and is fourth in receiving yards per game. No wide receiver has more total touchdowns this year than Tate.

Tate has registered five 100-yard receiving games this season, the most of any FBS player entering this week, and he has recorded at least two touchdowns in three straight games. Tate is on pace to challenge Jeff Samardzija's school record for receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns for a single season and could break Samardzija's school record for career receiving yards this year.

The three finalists will be announced Nov. 23 and the winner will be announced on the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 10.

Semifinalists for the 73rd Maxwell Award


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