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January 6, 2013

Hendrix: The next next man in

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Andrew Hendrix is two plays away from playing in the BCS National Championship Game against Alabama on Monday night. For now, that's all that's on the mind of Notre Dame's No. 3 quarterback.

By the start of the spring semester back in South Bend, that may change.

"Big picture, we'll look at it after the season, but right now we're just focused on playing for the national championship," Hendrix said. "You have to assess things logically. Obviously Notre Dame is an unbelievable place. Anything can happen, you have no idea."

The junior, studying to go to medical school after graduation, said he's two or three semesters from earning his diploma depending on his course load during the next round of summer school. Hendrix admitted leaving the University before reaching that finish line wouldn't make much sense, even if playing time doesn't come in South Bend.

Hendrix has played in just three games this year, completing 5-of-7 passes for 55 yards. He's also rushed eight times for 41 yards. He played against Navy, BYU and Wake Forest. Tommy Rees was suspended for the opener against the Midshipmen, with Everett Golson sidelined by concussion against the Cougars.

"The season couldn't have played out any better for our team," Hendrix said. "We're in the national championship, undefeated. I'm so happy to watch all our hard work pay off and everyone on our team is a part of this. No one feels left out. Obviously you'd like a bigger role on the field. But it's not anything to worry about for me.

"We have four great quarterbacks on this team. I don't know if there's a logjam like this anywhere else."

That logjam will grow during spring practice when Gunner Kiel jumps up from the scout team and Malik Zaire enrolls. That could make work harder for Hendrix to get than it's been this season after Golson beat him out for the starting job in August.

Because Hendrix took a red shirt season as a freshman, he'd have the option to spend his fifth year at another program after graduation without sitting out.

"At the very least, (playing my fifth year elsewhere) would be a fine situation, you can't argue with that," Hendrix said. "Again, there's so many options that you can explore. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Just to leave here with a degree, that's unebelieveblae."

Despite the lack of work, Hendrix said staying involved in the Irish offense hasn't been difficult.

"Coach (Chuck) Martin, he'll call on me, expect me to know everything," Hendrix said. "If I don't, I'm going to get yelled at too. I have to be ready and they know that."

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