On Saturday morning in South Bend, Ind., arguably the biggest college football commitment in over a decade took place when Westlake Village (Cali.) Oaks Christian quarterback Jimmy Clausen pledged to Notre Dame. Fittingly, Clausen made his announcement at the College Football Hall of Fame, where images of Irish football legends abound.
"I committed to Notre Dame," said Clausen when making his announcement in front of a standing room only crowd and tons of media. "I'd like to thank all the other schools and wish them the best of luck and would like to thank coach Weis for having the confidence in me during the recruiting process."
Clausen chose the Irish over Southern Cal and talked about many of the reasons for his decision.
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"It all comes down to coach Weis, you know, throughout the whole process he was straightforward with me," he said. "I knew about a week ago that this was the right decision for me and I talked to my family and they agreed. What I remember the most is that on the first day a coach could go out and visit, coach Weis was at my school looking at a junior and not a senior. That really left a mark in my heart. I told coach Weis yesterday after practice and he was very excited.
"Ron Powlus is another reason I came here. He was highly recruited and we have a good relationship right now. My older brothers have been through it all and I'm just trying to follow in their footsteps."
Like Clausen, a slew of stud recruits are on unofficial visits to Notre Dame this weekend for the Irish spring game. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback hopes to convince a few to commit as well.
"I want to get out to the spring game and meet some of my future teammates," Clausen said. "I look forward to doing whatever I can to help us win the national championship."
And does he think he'll play as a true freshman in 2007?
"I want to the be starting quarterback and I'll do everything I can to do that."