Whatever Happened to Notre Dame Star QB Jimmy Clausen?
Jimmy Clausen arrived at Notre Dame as the big man on campus who had a bright future.
A touted high school gunslinger who thrived with the Irish, Clausen looked bound for NFL stardom when the Panthers drafted him in 2010. Instead, he went from quarterback of the future to Cam Newton’s backup to, eventually, a journeyman veteran quarterback.
Ten years after the Carolina Panthers used a second-round pick on him, where is Clausen now?
Jimmy Clausen impressed at Notre Dame
A 6-foot-3 quarterback from California, Clausen signed with Notre Dame out of high school. After he went 42-0 in high school, Clausen threw seven touchdowns to six interceptions in six starts as a true freshman and watched the Fighting Irish go 3-9.
A year later and with the freshman blues behind him, Clausen took a major step forward. He completed nearly 61 percent of his passes for 3,172 yards and 25 touchdowns, although he still threw 17 interceptions.
Clausen was brilliant in 2009, completing 68% of his passes for over 3,700 yards, 28 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also ran for five touchdowns in college, although Clausen was sacked so often that he averaged negative 2 yards per carry.
Clausen was the Carolina Panthers’ future before Cam Newton
With Jake Delhomme in Cleveland and the Panthers in need of a starting quarterback, the team used a second-round pick on Jimmy Clausen in April 2010.
Originally, Clausen was supposed to back up Matt Moore. When Moore suffered a Week 1 injury against the Giants, head coach John Fox pressed Clausen into action.
Clausen relieved Moore in Week 2 and made his first start in Week 3. The rookie completed 52.5% of his passes for 1,558 yards, three touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 13 games.
Clausen went 1-9 as a starter and the Panthers, who earned the No. 1 overall pick with a 2-14 record, drafted Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton in April 2011.
Clausen spent the next two years backing up Newton and Derek Anderson. He didn’t see regular-season action again until 2014, his first year with the Bears.
Clausen lost his lone start with the Bears that year but threw two touchdowns to one pick in four games. He split the 2015 season between Chicago and Baltimore, ending the year winless in three starts with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Jimmy Clausen made good money before he retired
Jimmy Clausen hasn’t played an NFL down since 2015. He never found another home where he could be a serviceable backup quarterback.
Clausen earned nearly $5 million in the NFL to play in 22 games and throw seven touchdowns to four interceptions.
Clausen, who turns 33 in September, has enjoyed a peaceful retirement. He’s spent time with NBC Sports, covering the Fighting Irish’s football games, and he lists himself as a “college football analyst” on LinkedIn.
Clausen also did high school broadcast work. He covered a football game coached by his brothers, Casey and Rick, in September 2017, according to USA Today.