Quarterback Zach Frazer says he knew he likely wouldn't have the same numbers that earned him over 30 scholarship offers after his junior season. Frazer threw for 3,684 yards and 27 touchdowns during his junior record-setting season, but his numbers fell sharply this season.
"Our team finished 2-8," Frazer said. "We really struggled this year, but we didn't quit and kept playing. I threw for around 1,800 yards. We lost all of our receivers from last year, so we started out slow. There were some drops, but as a quarterback, it's my responsibility to win and lead this team.
"We really struggled, but we kept after it. We really improved throughout the year. I know the record doesn't really show that, but the final three games I threw for around 280 yards per game. We had a lot less errors and everything started clicking.
"I just felt it was my job to help these young guys along. I decided I wasn't going to get angry about it. It was my job to help them advance their skills and confidence. I think we did build some confidence over the season."
Frazer also said he found out that fans can be fickle.
"I took a lot of criticism, but I understand that. The quarterback has to take the blame," Frazer said about the fans. "Then the fans just didn't show up. It was kind of like peewee football all over again. The only people who showed up were the parents.
"My coach stuck by me though and that meant a lot. He knew what we had coming back and that we'd struggle. We just did the best we could. It was frustrating, but I did learn a lot."
The future Irish player says he learned a lot of life lessons as well.
"I think it helped me build my character," Frazer said. "Sometimes you get the short end of the stick. Last year God gave me everything I could want for. This year he was testing me, testing our team. You learn a lot about being a leader during times like this."
Frazer also said the experience really helped him in other areas as well.
"I really had to use my head a lot more this year," he said. "When you're getting pressured a lot, you have to make quick decisions. You have to read defenses better. You have to make checks and make sure you're in the right play. I learned a lot about moving in the pocket and how to avoid pressure, and how to think more quickly. I also got to know the offense a lot more this year."
While Frazer had a hard time enjoying his senior season, he has been able to enjoy Notre Dame's. Frazer said he can't wait to get to Notre Dame.
"It's very exciting to watch. (Brady) Quinn is going an excellent job," Frazer said of the Irish offense. "He was outstanding in the USC game. I was there and even ran out on the field before they came and got us. That was a tough loss. I felt bad for those guys because they had them beat."
The Army All-American nominee also said he's not surprised by Notre Dame's success.
"I'm not surprised at all," he said. "They worked really hard in the off-season and during camp. It's been a lot of fun to see this powerhouse offense. They're explosive. I can't wait to get there."
Frazer has also noticed the strong bond between Quinn and head coach Charlie Weis.
"You can see it on the sideline," Frazer said of Quinn and Weis' relationship. "They're always smiling, and you can tell how much they get along. It's important to get along with your coach as a quarterback. I'm excited to work with coach Weis.
"I just talked with him last night. I asked him if Notre Dame was going to play Penn State in a bowl game. I was asking him when I could get my hands on anything from the offense. I want to get started right away. P>
"My season ended Friday and I was in the gym on Monday. I'm not taking any time off. My whole focus will be getting ready for Notre Dame."
But Frazer is not quite ready to head to Notre Dame just yet.
"I've been told by a bunch of people to enjoy my final year in high school…to not wish it away," he said. "I'll enjoy the final five months. I've been with some of my friends for 8-10 years. Notre Dame will come soon enough, and I'll be ready when I get there, but I do want to enjoy the rest of my year in high school."