Notebook: Brady Quinn knows the test that awaits Notre Dame at Ohio State
SOUTH BEND — Brady Quinn never played a game in Ohio Stadium as a Notre Dame quarterback.
But the former Irish signal caller (2003-06) knows what the Irish should expect when they open the 2022 season at Ohio State on Sept. 3. As a kid who grew up near Columbus, Ohio and a college football analyst for FOX Sports, Quinn has experienced the environment that awaits Notre Dame.
“It’s going to be nasty,” Quinn said Monday while taking part in the Golic Sub-Par Classic charity event. “It’s going to be a tough environment. This is probably going to be one of the more unique experiences for a lot of these kids when you look at the fact that you’re not playing in Ann Arbor (Mich.) consistently like you were back when I was (at Notre Dame).
"So you were used to 100,000 being in the stands. That’s what you’re going to get: 100,000 at night as loud and nasty as you can imagine. It will be as tough of a test as some of these guys will maybe have in their entire careers at Notre Dame.”
Quinn signed with the Irish as four-star recruit in the 2003 class out of Dublin (Ohio) Coffman. So he’s heard from plenty of Notre Dame and Ohio State fans alike wanting to know what he thinks the outcome will be.
“I think Notre Dame’s got a shot,” Quinn said. “I know our friends out west probably feel otherwise, but there’s a style and play that can happen. Whoever’s the starting quarterback, he’s going to play well and make good decisions.
“We’re going to have to run the football. That defense last year couldn’t stop the run at Ohio State. They’re going to be tested in that way.
“You can’t give up big plays. When you’re going up against one of the best quarterbacks in the country (CJ Stroud), a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft class, and one of the best receivers in Jaxon Smith-Njigba, that’s the big thing. No big plays, play good red-zone defense, hopefully they make a few mistakes.”
Quinn is spearheading FUND: Friends of the University of Notre Dame, a non-profit organization created to support Notre Dame student-athletes with NIL opportunities through charitable causes. He’s also made himself available as a resource for Notre Dame’s quarterbacks if they want advice.
Quinn, who also does work as an analyst for CBS Sports, spoke to recent Notre Dame quarterback commit CJ Carr, a 2024 recruit, after he announced his commitment decision on CBS Sports HQ.
“He seems like a fantastic kid and a special one,” Quinn said. “So, I’m excited about what his future looks like.”
Freeman’s alumni connection
The first Golic Sub-Par Classic, which raised money for four local charities, brought a number of former Notre Dame football players back into town this past weekend. It served as a reunion of sorts for Mike Golic Sr. and Mike Golic Jr., but their eras weren’t the only ones represented during the event Sunday and Monday.
It was a much smaller version of the Legacy Weekend coordinated by Notre Dame director of player development Hunter Bivin under the direction of head coach Marcus Freeman around the Blue-Gold Game in April. The main focus of the Sub-Par Classic was to support the community surrounding Notre Dame. The Legacy Weekend was designed to help support the past, present and future of the Notre Dame football program.
The connections made between Notre Dame’s current players and former players extended well beyond football.
“There are a lot of successful former players who went on to not play in the NFL but have incredible jobs,” Golic Sr. said. “To let these guys see, ‘Football, take it as long as you can, but there’s a lot after it as well.’ That was very cool. A lot of former players were happy with that.
“Marcus is such a great personality. People love him.”
Former Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph (2008-10) attended an Irish spring practice and spoke to the team afterward.
“It's important to (Freeman),” Rudolph said. “He’s a former player himself, and a guy that realized how important that alumni/former player network is to the program. He’s definitely been big in trying to get guys back around.”
Freeman made a point to attend the private party Sunday night before the Sub-Par Classic golf tournament Monday. The Irish had wrapped up hosting recruits for the month, so he didn’t have recruiting obligations on campus.
“Awesome for him to come by,” Golic Jr. said. “Marcus has done such a great job of really embracing what it means to be at Notre Dame, embracing this program and community since he got here. For us to be added on to that and for him to make us feel that love was really special.
“We appreciate his time. That’s the busiest man in sports right now. To get him for an extended amount of time like that is pretty awesome.”
Free agent Rudolph
Kyle Rudolph doesn’t yet know where he’ll be spending his 12th NFL season. The two-time Pro Bowler remains a free agent heading into July. He’s enjoyed spending time with his family in the offseason while keeping himself prepared for the next opportunity.
“It’s been different for me being a free agent as long as I have been, but it’s also kind of been by choice to stay home all offseason and not have to start commuting away from the family,” said Rudolph, who played last season for the New York Giants after 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. “We're getting excited here as training camp’s right around the corner and figure out where we’re going to be.”
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