James Richard "Jimmy" Clausen (born September 21, 1987) is an American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Panthers in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He played college football at Notre Dame.
Clausen had an outstanding prep career at Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, California. In 2006, he threw 49 touchdown passes for the season to lead the Lions to their first ever Division III state title. Clausen never lost a football game he started in his prep career (42-0) and also holds the California state record for career touchdowns (146). He threw for 10,677 yards in his career at Oaks Christian. As a senior, Clausen won the 2006 Hall Trophy for the nation's top high school football player and was also named “Offensive Player of the Year” by the USA Today. Clausen was also named the Co Player of the Year, along with USC running back Joe McKnight, by Parade Magazine.
As the younger brother of two former Division I quarterbacks—Casey and Rick Clausen, who both played at Tennessee—Jimmy Clausen gained media attention very early. Beginning in eighth grade, his parents paid his tutelage under professional quarterbacks coach Steve Clarkson. During his junior season, a Sports Illustrated feature dubbed him “The Kid with The Golden Arm”. Recruiting analysts considered him a “once in a decade” quarterback talent and ranked him as the #1 overall prospect of the 2007 high school class. Because of his quick release, some in the media compared him to Joe Namath.