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Four Freshman To Contend With Battle For Quarterback

Feb. 2, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Sophomore Arnaz Battle may find that he is no longer the only man in the hunt for the starting spot.

On Wednesday, Notre Dame managed to ink four freshman quarterbacks. While some are figured to slide into other positions, Davie promised to give all four a shot at playing quarterback.

“We are going full speed ahead with all those quarterbacks,” Davie said. “We don’t have a starting quarterback. You think that it is going to be Arnaz but we don’t know. It is a good opportunity for someone to come in and put himself in a position to play for us.”

Jared Clark enters with a strong chance at challenging Battle for the starting spot. Clark is ranked 62nd according to recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. This past season he proved that he could throw and run. He runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds and ran for 741 yards this past season. The Floridian threw for 1,372 yards and 17 touchdowns.

“Now, there are no secrets,” Davie said about recruiting. “Anytime you get a lot of good players at one position, you are afraid it is going to impact other players coming. That is why I am so excited about this group, they knew who else was coming.”

Notre Dame inked Matt LoVecchio in mid-December. He was the first member of this class to commit. LoVecchio has proven his strength registering excellent numbers in both his senior and junior campaigns. As a junior, he passed for 1,700 yards and 29 touchdowns for the unbeaten Crusaders, completing 61.7 percent of his passes.

In his senior campaign, LoVecchio completed 92 of 158 passes (58 percent) for 1,503 yards and 17 touchdowns, giving him a school-record 48 career scoring passes. LoVecchio helped his team reach the Parochial A semifinals and was named to the New Jersey All-State Football team.

On Signing Day, the Irish finally received commitments from Carlyle Holiday and Abram Elam.

“Abram Elam is quite an athlete,” Davie said. “He was in our camp. He played quarterback down at Cardinal Newman in West Palm Beach. We are going to give him first opportunity to be at quarterback. He also realizes that there is a good chance that he will be at safety.”

Elam hails from Florida. While some feel that the Cardinal Newman student can not compete at quarterback, Davie and Co. are willing to give him a shot. Elam selected Notre Dame over the like of several Florida schools as well as Georgia Tech. He also excelled at basketball.

In his senior season, he threw for 900 yards and 13 touchdowns. Elam also rushed for 500 yards and 12 touchdowns. Notre Dame got a taste of his style of play early since he participated in Notre Dame’s football camp this summer.

“We are going to go full ahead and see how things shake out,” Davie said. “The good thing about it is all those kids go into the situation with their eyes wide open. They knew that there was going to be competition. That’s why I was so impressed that Carlyle Holiday went ahead and signed with Notre Dame.”

Holiday registers as the fourth potential quarterback for the Irish. He had 48 completions for 719 yards in his senior season. Holiday also proved his running skills by amassing 876 yards on 100 carries. He also scored 13 times on rushing touchdowns.

He lettered in four sports at Roosevelt. Holiday also garnered honors from the Chicago Sun-Times, Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Holiday opted for Notre Dame over Nebraska in a battle till Wednesday.

One thing that is certain about the quarterback position, it is wide open. Battle has a slight jump on things, having seen some action in the ’99 season. Davie remains adamant that the starting spot is up for grabs. Competition should prove to be fairly tight all season. Whoever grabs the starting spot will have to prove success early, as Notre Dame is scheduled to face Texas A&M and Nebraska in its first two home games of the 2000 season.