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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Players & Marcus Freeman Share Thoughts on QB CJ Carr

December 25, 2023

Notre Dame freshman quarterback CJ Carr arrived on campus for bowl prep and his new teammates quickly noticed his presence on the practice field as the Irish prepare for Oregon State in the Sun Bowl. 

Notre Dame quarterback Steve Angeli
“I think it's awesome. Having him here and getting a head start on learning. He's been a great kid already with the few days I’ve spent with him. He's asked a lot of questions. Just wants to learn and I think he's a great addition as a quarterback to the room and as a person.

“I think being the only guy in his class and the only guy to come in — not as an early enrollee but a super-early enrollee, you could say — and just seeing him get out there and spin the ball with confidence, it's really great to see.”  

Notre Dame running back Jeremiyah Love 
“I haven’t really got to see him. I mean like, I haven’t really been paying attention. But every so often I’ll look at him and he looks like he’s really calm. You would think that most freshmen would come in and you could see that they’re really nervous but when I look at him he seems like he’s pretty calm and he knows what’s gonna happen, what he’s gonna do. 

“I think he came in with a mindset that I think he knows he’s not really gonna be the starter. But truly I think he came in with a mindset to soak up knowledge from Steve (Angeli). I think we’re getting a new quarterback - soak up knowledge from him. But he seems pretty calm. He seems pretty chill.” 

Notre Dame defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste:
"For a guy that just got here, I think he's going to be good. He's hitting his reads early and everything. By the time he gets that thing in his hands, you got about one or two seconds. He's going to either throw it to the one read or the next. And if not, he's gone. I think he's going to be good."

Notre Dame safety DJ Brown: 
“I think it's cool. I just found out on Friday when Coach Freeman told us, but I think it's good for him. He gets to jump ahead of all the early enrollees. He's our scout team quarterback. Every day, he gets better. I can see it. So just seeing that is cool. He's really young, but seeing him get better, even over three practices has been cool to see.

“It's pretty cool for him. Literally, he's going to come back here and feel like an upperclassman amongst the early enrollees. So he already has a jump ahead, which is pretty cool.”

Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman on benefits of Carr getting a feel for the program without worrying about classes: 
”I'm gonna answer that with probably two parts, like with a quarterback, I think it's unique to get here early to learn the playbook. It’s different, especially for the quarterback and it's been great to have him here and there can be two rights, right?” “I have recruits and parents that tell me all the time, ‘Is he gonna be behind if he doesn’t start mid-year?’

“Academically, yeah, you miss a semester but in terms of the opportunity to play football - some of the greatest players we've had as freshmen here or in my career, have been in the summer. Ben Morrison was a summer guy. I can't remember if Kyle Hamilton was a summer guy, I think he was another guy that started. When I was at Cincinnati, Sauce Gardner was a summer guy. I'm talking about three guys that started as true freshmen.

“There's also an added benefit to coming in early too and so there's no wrong coming in early or coming in the summer. It's whatever is the preference of that student-athlete but to have CJ here in this bowl practice time has been great for him in terms of the adjustment and to the expectations for football.”

Marcus Freeman on Carr’s ceiling as a player:
”I don't know how high it will be but It's extremely high. I watch him throw the ball in practices the last couple of days. He’s got a great arm - his decision-making, he processes information and makes decisions at a high level, but he's a freshman.

“The one thing you can't take into consideration when we talk about hard work, you have a role, and you know it's going to be hard work to never know how much time has to be put in to reach those goals. We'll see how much time it will take him but I truly believe he has such a high ceiling in terms of where he'll be as a football player.

“He's so competitive. That's the thing about CJ, he’s smart, athletic, he's talented, but he's competitive. And those are things that are hard to measure. We get him around … he comes to some junior days and those things and when he’s around some of his teammates. He’s one of the most competitive guys there is so that’s what you're looking for.”

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