Posted 21 May 2010 - 06:40 AM
I am amazed about why there is such a controversy about Jimmy Clausen and "his character issues." This really is a red herring or just a load of crap. I am not sure who started this issue or who keeps moving it to the head of any story about Jimmy Clausen. Before I go any further, I have to disclose that I am biased as it comes to Jimmy Clausen. Before I met Jimmy several years ago when he was a junior in high school, I too had my own preconcieved notion or beliefs that I knew Jimmy based on various sport magazine stories and articles. I really expected him to be a cocky, self absorbed young Prima Donna. What I learned about Jimmy was that I was dead wrong. I am not going to say that Jimmy lacks any confidence in his football abilities but he is sort of a quiet and surprisingly humble kid. From the time Jimmy decided to go to ND, he made a point of working for ND and Coach Weis. He was actively recruiting for ND from the start. His family was also firmly doing all it could to make ND's team better.
I met Jimmy while I was at Notre Dame with Rejus Benn at a Junior Day event. I went with Rejus to this event from Washington, D.C. While there at the basketball game, I was sitting with Rejus soaking in the entire recruiting atmosphere. I noticed Casey Clausen, Jimmy Clausen and their mom pass by to their seats that were not too far from where we were sitting. Jimmy came back to where we were sitting and approached me and introduced himself to me and said "hi I'm Jimmy, Jimmy Clausen and he wanted to know how Rejus was enjoying himself and whether he was really interested in Notre Dame. He asked where did Rejus want to go to college and play ball?"
I kiddingly told Jimmy that i know who you are The Golden Boy with the Golden Arm and that I read all those article about him, and that although Rejus was shy and quite (especially for a wide receiver) that he needed to just ask Rejus. At that point, I introduced the two of them and they have been friends ever since. To this day they continue to be friends. Even after Rejus verbally committed to the Illini, Jimmy reached out to him as a freind. Sure he wanted Rejus to join him at ND but he wanted to make sure that no matter what they remained friends. It was nice to see that Jimmy and his family truly had a personal interest in Rejus. Rejus and my kids and I have spent time with Jimmy and his family at their house in California. I feel i have gotten to know Jimmy and his family through our shared experiences. I feel bad that this kid has to explain that he is a quality kid and that although he got sucker punched it was not his fault. I think for a monment have to step into Jimmy's shoes and deal with all the crap he had to endure as ND's QB. I notice that this kid did not turn on his teammates who dropped balls, missed assignments, wiffed on blaocks, played defense like a team with very little talent. I also noticed that he did not turn on his coaches. Sure he got fired up on the field of play and may have gotten somewhat excited but I'd rather have that someone who did not care.