At the start of the 2006 NCAA football season, Brady Quinn had all his ducks in a row. He was the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy, was set to make a run at a national championship his Notre Dame Fighting Irish teammates and quite possibly be the first overall selection in April’s NFL draft.
Then something happened.
On Sept. 16, the Irish welcomed storied rival Michigan into South Bend for the third game of the year. On the second pass attempt of the contest, Wolverine linebacker Prescott Burgess stepped in front of an errant Quinn throw and took the interception 31 yards for a Michigan touchdown.
It was the start of an ugly day for Quinn, who threw three touchdowns but also three interceptions in a 47-21 Michigan romp. The loss dropped the Irish 10 spots in the polls, from second to 12th. Notre Dame never seemed to recover, and the loss ended up being a dagger of sorts, cutting the heart out of the season for both the Irish and Quinn.
While Quinn didn’t necessarily lose out on the Heisman that day, it didn’t help his cause. He finished third in the prestigious award to Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith and Arkansas tailback Darren McFadden. Notre Dame went on to lose to the University of Southern California in the final game of the regular season, dropping the Irish all the way to 17th in the polls.
The final blow to Quinn and Notre Dame came in a 41-14 thrashing at the hands of Louisiana State University in the Sugar Bowl. In that game, LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell completely outplayed Quinn, sending a message to the NFL that maybe Russell, and not Quinn, was the better pro prospect.
It’s not like Quinn had a terrible senior season or career with the Fighting Irish. Not in the least. He threw for 3,426 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2006, his fourth and final year at Notre Dame. For his career, Quinn will wind up as one of the most prolific passers in the school’s history, owning 30 school records including nine career and nine single-season marks.
However, Russell was taken first overall to the Oakland Raiders while Quinn dropped out of the top five…then top 10…then top 15…then top 20, and all the way to pick number 22. His free fall was reminiscent of current Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers in ’05.
While April 28th, 2007 will always be remembered as a long day for Quinn, it will also signal one of the greatest moments in his life. You see, he was chosen by his favorite childhood team, the Cleveland Browns.
Due to Derek Anderson's breakout year in 2007, Quinn sat the bench his entire rookie season. If Anderson is traded in the offseason, however, Quinn might get his opportunity to play.
Information sites on Quinn
Cleveland Browns Official Player Bio: Brady Quinn
Career notes, photos and stats on Brady Quinn can be found at the Official Website of the Cleveland Browns.
NFL.com Player Profile: Brady Quinn
Find a small profile, game logs, stats and merchandise on Brady Quinn at NFL.com.
Rotoworld Player Page: Brady Quinn
Rotoworld.com has some of the best fantasy reporting and advice on the web. Click on the “Previous News” tab to get current and past information on Brady Quinn for your fantasy football team.
Brady Quinn Wikipedia Page
Find a comprehensive background on Brady Quinn's life and football career at Wikipedia.com.
“Brady Quinn Highlights”
Check out this video montage of Brady Quinn's playing days at Notre Dame.
Unofficial Brady Quinn fan site
This is probably the best site on Quinn for news, information, stats and pictures.
Latest on Brady:
With Derek Anderson playing so well in 2007, Quinn never got the opportunity to start during his rookie year. Although the Browns have said Anderson will remain the starter heading into 2008, a lot could change in the offseason.
Digging up Brady Quinn on the web
Browns’ pair – two of a kind
In one of the most remarkable first rounds in NFL history, the Cleveland Browns were able to land two pre-draft, top five prospects in offensive tackle Joe Thomas and quarterback Brady Quinn.
Savage's genius netted Brady Quinn for the Browns
Entering the draft, not many Browns’ fans envisioned general manager Phil Savage to land both Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn, but that’s exactly what he did.
Browns fans shouldn’t lambaste Brady
An Ohio resident sticking up for former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn? Absolutely unacceptable…right?
Brady Quinn Interview
IGN.com sits down with Brady Quinn on chats about his draft day experience, proving people wrong and how it feels to be a Cleveland Brown.
Browns need to take their time with Quinn
Sean McClelland of the Dayton Daily News feels Cleveland should allow Brady Quinn to develop.
What Quinn has that Couch didn’t: supporting cast, Weis mentoring
Will Brady Quinn turn into the next Tim Couch in Cleveland Browns’ history; Todd Porter of the CantonRep.com doesn’t think so.
On being drafted by the Browns:
"It couldn't have worked out any better. I have the opportunity to play with a great left tackle and, hopefully, we'll be playing a long time together."
On waiting for his turn to start:
"You have to be ready as the backup quarterback. You stay after practice to get extra reps and extra throws and go through the script again a second time so you make sure you're going through the physical motion of it, and not just the mental, before and during practice."
On former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis:
“He's so brutally honest at times that it can catch you off guard. The best thing about his honesty is that it's fair. He doesn't play favorites. He's even more intense now than he was in the spring, and I'm sure that he will become even more so when we start playing the season.”