July 20, 2006

Five ready to rise

For Brady Quinn, there's no avoiding this season's spotlight.


But for the Irish quarterback to make a Heisman Trophy run and lead Notre Dame to a national championship berth, it will take a lot more than the senior's right arm.


Title contenders like Notre Dame are always stocked with star talent, whether that's a four-year starter at quarterback, a wide receiver doubling as a pitcher or a safety that's also a pro boxer. The nation knows Quinn, Jeff Samardzija and Tom Zbikowski simply from preseason magazines. But when top programs make good on their potential, it's the players treated with eight-point font by Street and Smith's that usually power the run.


Which players might fuel a Notre Dame victory march to the national championship game on Jan. 8? Whether it's a starter upgrading his game or a reserve flashing a few moments of brilliance, these five players could be the key to the Irish competing at the highest level.

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