June 29, 2006
Senior quarterback Brady Quinn (Dublin, Ohio) and senior wide receiver Jeff Samardzija (Valparaiso, Ind.) have been named to the Rivals.com Preseason All-America First Team. Notre Dame was one of six schools to have two players named to the first team. Quinn was named the first team quarterback, while Samardzija was one of two wide receivers to make the list.
Quinn enjoyed a breakout season in 2005 and now owns 30 of Notre Dame’s offensive records. On his way to sharing ’05 Notre Dame Most Valuable Player honors with Samardzija, Quinn set new single-season highs for attempts, completions, yards, yards per game, touchdown passes and completion percentage. He also established Notre Dame career marks for attempts, completions, yards, yards per game, and touchdown passes. Quinn will serve as a team captain in 2006, marking his second consecutive season as the team’s designated offensive captain.
Samardzija will return from a spring and summer of noteworthy baseball accomplishments to once again become one of Quinn’s favorite targets. In 2005, Quinn hooked up with Samardzija 77 times, which tied Tom Gatewood’s 1970 school-record total for receptions in a single season. In addition, Samardzija set several single-season records, including receiving yards (1,249) and touchdown catches (15). He is currently ranked ninth all-time at Notre Dame with 1,576 yard receiving. At the conclusion of the ’05 season, Samardzija was named a consensus All-America and one of three finalists for the 2005 Biletnikoff Award, given to the nations top receiver.