Irish QB Clausen says he had surgery to remove bone spur
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, talking with reporters for the first time since arriving on campus last January, confirmed Friday he underwent arthroscopic surgery this past spring to remove a bone spur from his throwing arm.
Clausen, rated by many as the top high school recruit last winter, described the procedure as a minor setback.
"I've been rehabbing ever since," he said. "I've been throwing and practicing every day during camp."
Notre Dame had never confirmed Clausen underwent the surgery although it had been widely speculated.
During the only full practice open to the media on Aug. 11, Clausen did not throw with as much velocity as the other two Irish quarterbacks -- Evan Sharpley and Demetrius Jones. Clausen described his status as day to day.
He wouldn't comment any further on his injury, but said he is competing to be the starting quarterback.
"I'm just getting ready and competing to try and start on Sept. 1," he said.
Coach Charlie Weis hasn't announced who will replace Brady Quinn at quarterback, saying he doesn't want to let opening-game opponent Georgia Tech know which quarterback will play until gametime.
Clausen, who started for three seasons at Oaks Christian of Westlake Village, Calif., and played some as a freshman, said he will adjust if he's not the Irish starter.
"I'm so glad and happy to be a part of Notre Dame football, I'm going to try to help the team out every way I can to help us win whether it's on the field, off the field, helping other quarterbacks out," he said.
Clausen also spoke briefly about being cited by state Excise Police for transporting alcohol as a minor when he drove a 23-year-old to a liquor store in June. He described it as using bad judgment, being ignorant of the law and "being at the wrong place at the wrong time" -- echoing the words Weis used earlier in the week to describe the situation.
Clausen said he was happy to be able to finally talk to the media, saying he believes there are some misconceptions about him.
"A lot of people don't really know who I am. That's why I'm here today," he said. "I want you guys to get a chance to know who I am as a person and a player."
He described himself as a laid-back kid from California.
Weis also talked previously about misconceptions surrounding Clausen.
"Jimmy, who everyone thinks is kind of a flamboyant guy, is kind of a quiet guy," Weis said.
Part of those misconceptions may have come from the way Clausen announced his choice of schools.
Clausen made his announcement four hours before the spring 2006 Blue-Gold game at a news conference at the College Football Hall of Fame attended by 300 Irish fans. He arrived in a Hummer limo, flashed three rings he won playing high school football and said he was coming to Notre Dame "to try to get four national championship rings."
Asked Friday whether he had any regrets about that, Clausen said the announcement was in the past and he was concerned with the future. He did say, though, he came to Notre Dame because he wants to be in the spotlight.
He said so far Notre Dame has been everything he expected.
"Coming into a prestigious place like Notre Dame, all eyes are watching you," he said. "That's what I wanted."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press