Former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen finally heard his name called in the 75th annual NFL Draft – more than 24 hours after the draft began.
Clausen, projected by most to be selected in the draft’s first round (32 picks), was taken 48th overall by the Carolina Panthers.
Clausen is the eighth Notre Dame player to be drafted in the second round since the turn of the century. The group includes DE Anthony Weaver in 2002, Julius Jones and Courtney Watson in 2004, Anthony Fasano in 2005, Victor Abiamiri in 2007, and John Carlson and Trevor Laws in 2008.
The program has had just two players drafted in the first round over that span: Jeff Faine in 2003 and Brady Quinn in 2007.
Clausen emerged as a college star last season after an uneven 2008 campaign, throwing for 28 touchdowns vs. just 4 interceptions as a true junior in ’09. He completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,722 yards and directed four 4th quarter comebacks for the 6-6 Irish.
Clausen’s classmate Golden Tate likely expected his second round selection. Tate joins new Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll in Seattle for the 2010 season.
Tate set or tied six school records in 2009: most receptions (93) and receiving yards (1,496) in a season; tied for most touchdown catches in a season (15), most receiving yards in a career (2,707), most career 100-yard receiving games (14), and most single-season 100-yard receiving games (9).
His 18 total touchdowns in 2009 ties him for the second highest (official) single-season total in program history.