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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."