Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen: ‘I’m in a great situation right now’

Although Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen didn’t throw for scouts, he attended Notre Dame’s pro day Tuesday and had individual meetings with representatives of the Redskins and 49ers. Clausen, who has been recovering from January surgery to repair two torn ligaments in his right big toe, will hold his own workout for NFL teams on April 9 in South Bend. He spoke with a group of reporters, including Sporting News’ Dave Curtis, after Tuesday’s event.
 
Jimmy Clausen has resumed running after surgery on toe ligaments injured in September.
Jimmy Clausen has resumed running after surgery on toe ligaments injured in September.

Sporting News: How’s the toe?

Jimmy Clausen: It’s coming along. Yesterday was the first day I’ve been able to run since surgery. Just jogged around the track a little bit. Two laps, and I was pretty winded. But it felt good. It’s not as strong as I want it, coming off of surgery, but it’s getting there.
 
SN: When did the torn ligaments happen?
JC: They tore in the Michigan State game (Sept. 19). As soon as I got hurt, I heard a pop. Going back and looking at the MRIs, it was definitely torn in that game. I played on it the whole season, so my two sesamoid bones moved a centimeter down. The doctor had to reattach the tendons and then move the sesamoid bones up. It was a pretty intense surgery.
 
SN: Did you think about having anything done earlier?
JC: The doctor (after the season) said I should’ve had it done the next day. Knowing that, I wouldn’t be in this position right now, but it’s hard to think about that.
 
SN: Do you feel like you deserved better?
JC: It’s whatever it is. I’m in a great situation right now, and I don’t think I’d be in this situation if I would’ve known I had two torn tendons. If I had known, I probably would have had the surgery the next day.
 
SN: What have you been doing the last three weeks?
JC: I have been lifting a lot Š my upper body, my left leg, doing core. These past two weeks, I’ve been getting my throwing motion down, getting ready for April 9. Once my toe feels a little better, I can start getting my footwork down. But I’ve just been dropping back, walking, trying to get through my release.
 
SN: Why did you go to the Combine?
JC: I went for interviews and obviously to get checked out by the doctors. That’s pretty much the only reason I went down.
 
SN: What kind of questions are you getting from teams?
JC: It ranges (from) why I came to Notre Dame, my leadership ability, some of the off-the-field things to questions like: "Are you a dog or a cat?" I said I was a dog. "If you had to choose, what kind of tree would you be?" Those are some of the questions they asked; it’s pretty funny. But they want to get to know you, your personality.
 
SN: How do you feel about some of the things that are being said about you in the media?
JC: That’s one of the big things why I wanted to go to the Combine. The coaches could see first-hand who I am as a person, what I’m about, things I like, don’t like, how I am in a meeting situation. They could fire questions at me, have me up at the (chalk)board, try to put me in intense situations and see how I react. That’s just the life of it. That’s why I wanted to go to the Combine. I was real anxious to get the coaches, general managers and owners to get a feel for me.
 
SN: Do you have anything set up with teams that you’re at liberty to tell us?
JC: I really don’t know. My agent is setting all those meetings up. I know the first meeting I have to go to is Buffalo. That’s the only one I know so far.
 
SN: How frustrating is it going through this with an injury?
JC: It’s hard not being able to go out there and run a 40, do a shuttle, throw the ball, do all those things. But I’ll be able to go out there on the 9th and I think that’s what coaches want to see.
 
SN: Why are you here today?
JC: I wanted to show my support for those guys and be there for them. They’re my teammates. It was their day today, and all of them performed really well.
 
SN: What are you hearing from the guys still with Notre Dame about how things are going with coach (Brian) Kelly?
JC: Great things. That’s all I’ve been hearing, is great things. (They’ve) just been saying they’re real excited to get out there Friday (for the start of spring practice).
 
This story appears in March 24’s edition of Sporting News Today. If you are not receiving Sporting News Today, the only daily digital sports newspaper, sign up today.
Although Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen didn’t throw for scouts, he attended Notre Dame’s pro day Tuesday and had individual meetings with representatives of the Redskins and 49ers. Clausen, who has been recovering from January surgery to repair two torn ligaments in his right big toe, will hold his own workout for NFL teams on April 9 in South Bend. He spoke with a group of reporters, including Sporting News’ Dave Curtis, after Tuesday’s event.
 
Jimmy Clausen has resumed running after surgery on toe ligaments injured in September.
Jimmy Clausen has resumed running after surgery on toe ligaments injured in September.

Sporting News: How’s the toe?

Jimmy Clausen: It’s coming along. Yesterday was the first day I’ve been able to run since surgery. Just jogged around the track a little bit. Two laps, and I was pretty winded. But it felt good. It’s not as strong as I want it, coming off of surgery, but it’s getting there.
 
SN: When did the torn ligaments happen?
JC: They tore in the Michigan State game (Sept. 19). As soon as I got hurt, I heard a pop. Going back and looking at the MRIs, it was definitely torn in that game. I played on it the whole season, so my two sesamoid bones moved a centimeter down. The doctor had to reattach the tendons and then move the sesamoid bones up. It was a pretty intense surgery.
 
SN: Did you think about having anything done earlier?
JC: The doctor (after the season) said I should’ve had it done the next day. Knowing that, I wouldn’t be in this position right now, but it’s hard to think about that.
 
SN: Do you feel like you deserved better?
JC: It’s whatever it is. I’m in a great situation right now, and I don’t think I’d be in this situation if I would’ve known I had two torn tendons. If I had known, I probably would have had the surgery the next day.
 
SN: What have you been doing the last three weeks?
JC: I have been lifting a lot Š my upper body, my left leg, doing core. These past two weeks, I’ve been getting my throwing motion down, getting ready for April 9. Once my toe feels a little better, I can start getting my footwork down. But I’ve just been dropping back, walking, trying to get through my release.
 
SN: Why did you go to the Combine?
JC: I went for interviews and obviously to get checked out by the doctors. That’s pretty much the only reason I went down.
 
SN: What kind of questions are you getting from teams?
JC: It ranges (from) why I came to Notre Dame, my leadership ability, some of the off-the-field things to questions like: "Are you a dog or a cat?" I said I was a dog. "If you had to choose, what kind of tree would you be?" Those are some of the questions they asked; it’s pretty funny. But they want to get to know you, your personality.
 
SN: How do you feel about some of the things that are being said about you in the media?
JC: That’s one of the big things why I wanted to go to the Combine. The coaches could see first-hand who I am as a person, what I’m about, things I like, don’t like, how I am in a meeting situation. They could fire questions at me, have me up at the (chalk)board, try to put me in intense situations and see how I react. That’s just the life of it. That’s why I wanted to go to the Combine. I was real anxious to get the coaches, general managers and owners to get a feel for me.
 
SN: Do you have anything set up with teams that you’re at liberty to tell us?
JC: I really don’t know. My agent is setting all those meetings up. I know the first meeting I have to go to is Buffalo. That’s the only one I know so far.
 
SN: How frustrating is it going through this with an injury?
JC: It’s hard not being able to go out there and run a 40, do a shuttle, throw the ball, do all those things. But I’ll be able to go out there on the 9th and I think that’s what coaches want to see.
 
SN: Why are you here today?
JC: I wanted to show my support for those guys and be there for them. They’re my teammates. It was their day today, and all of them performed really well.
 
SN: What are you hearing from the guys still with Notre Dame about how things are going with coach (Brian) Kelly?
JC: Great things. That’s all I’ve been hearing, is great things. (They’ve) just been saying they’re real excited to get out there Friday (for the start of spring practice).
 
This story appears in March 24’s edition of Sporting News Today. If you are not receiving Sporting News Today, the only daily digital sports newspaper, sign up today.

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