Coming out of high school, Clausen was hailed as a “10 year prospect”, the kind of guy who doesn’t come along very often. A Sports Illustrated feature even proclaimed him, “The Kid with the Golden Arm.” Rivals.com ranked Clausen #1 overall on their list of 2007 prospects, a nice cherry to top off a sundae already overflowing with media hype.

However, the scouting enthusiasts ignored a few important factors when evaluating his talent. First of all, Jimmy played for Oaks Christian High School, a private division III school in Westlake Village, California. The lack of competition in his league, combined with his already stacked roster (reportedly 12 kids who could potentially play D1 ball), helped to inflate his stats and make him seem more talented than he really was. Also, Jimmy was 18 years old as a high school junior. This was due to the fact that he began kindergarden at six years old and repeated the sixth grade, a decision his mother felt was needed to “gain maturity.”

Here’s my beef with Jimmy. For a kid who was labeled as “the Lebron James of high school football,” he ended up more like Sebastian Telfair. The hype machine that followed him was sure to set him up for disappointment. When he came to Notre Dame, Irish faithful thought it was the second coming. While the abundance of talent surrounding him assured that he wasn’t awful in his 3 years in South Bend, Clausen never came close to leading the program back to the promised land, or even a legitimate bowl game. His on the field antics reflected poorly on himself as well as his team, something Todd McShay referenced multiple times while evaluating his NFL potential.

Today he was drafted 48th overall by the Carolina Panthers, a position usually reserved for less than “prodigious” talent. Honestly, I wasn’t a fan from the start. Here he is fresh out of practice. How he managed to spike his hair so evenly, I will never know.

The finished product:

Sorry Jimmy, maybe it was the hair, or the cockiness that accompanied your lack of talent, but either way I just never could bring myself to appreciate your game. When athletes are highly over hyped, they rarely ever reach their acclaimed potential. But when they carry with them the attitude that they are as good as everyone says, while not having to perform to prove it, it makes them look foolish. Then again, so do hair cuts like these.

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