Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen to turn pro reports that Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

“After the season, in talking to my parents and obviously Coach Weis, I just feel it’s the right time,” Clausen told on Monday before a scheduled 2 p.m. ET news conference in South Bend. “Coach Weis told me whether he was going to be here or not be here, it was time for me to go. He thought I’ve improved so much since I came to Notre Dame. So, I’m taking his advice, and I’m going to head out.”

“It’ll probably be just like going from high school to college, but a lot faster than college is. Obviously, being under Coach Weis, being in a pro-style offense, knowing the terminologies, will help me. But the biggest thing will probably be just getting in the playbook and mentally preparing myself to do everything I can to get on the field as quick as I can and help whichever team I go to win.”

Mel Kiper has Clausen rated as the top quarterback on his big board and the fourth best prospect overall.

He’ll unfairly be compared to Brady Quinn because they played in the same offense at Notre Dame, but at least in my opinion, Clausen is a more polished prospect now than Quinn was when he entered the draft. In terms of raw talent and upside, Clausen beats Quinn but that obviously doesn’t mean that he’ll be a better pro.

With Sam Bradford, Jake Locker, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow set to join Clausen in April, the 2010 NFL Draft will have plenty of intrigue surrounding the quarterback class.

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