August 17, 2006

Who's on second? Still Sharpley for now

There were plenty of obvious questions surrounding Notre Dame's quarterback depth chart after Wednesday's workout. But only one of those answers was so painfully clear.

Head coach Charlie Weis announced the squad's leadership council for the coming season, with the quarterback nod going to Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine cover boy Brady Quinn. The players voting Quinn, also a Notre Dame tri-captain, to the leadership council was as predictable as the media getting kicked out of practice after 20 minutes.

Notre Dame's back-up quarterback race, however, is anything but a fait accompli.

The Irish staged a scrimmage on Aug. 13 inside Notre Dame Stadium with every intention of starting to settle who'll hold the clipboard for a Heisman Trophy candidate. Evan Sharpley opened fall camp as the early favorite, but Weis isn't ready to anoint the sophomore quarterback as the No. 2 just yet.

"Right now in the backup quarterback situation there's such a wide drop off from Brady to the next guy," Weis said. "The obvious answer is Evan is mentally ahead of the two freshmen. That's the obvious answer and he is."

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