HE WASN'T the right fit for some NFL teams, while others doubted his passing accuracy. Once touted as a potential No. 1 pick, Brady Quinn, who threw for more yards (11,762) than any other quarterback in Notre Dame history, fell and fell and fell on draft day—all the way to No. 22. The drop was costly: The first pick last year got $54 million over six years; the 22nd got $8.5 million over five. At least Quinn is headed to the Browns ("Hello, Cleveland!"), the team he adored as a child in Dublin, Ohio. Four years after making his first start as a Fighting Irish freshman, Quinn is coming home—the long way.
On his preparedness for the NFL
I'm as prepared as anyone. I've had the coaching of Charlie Weis the past two seasons, with his big NFL system. And who else has played in as many big games? Who has had the media attention I had at Notre Dame? We had a national audience every week. No one else has had to deal with things like that.
On his biggest regret at South Bend
That we didn't win a national championship will always haunt me. I felt we had the talent to do so. Not winning a bowl game irks me too. Both those things will motivate me in the NFL.
On being at the draft and seeing himself drop so far
It was tough, probably more so for my family [members] who were with me. I really thought Miami at Number 9 was going to [take me], so it got a bit crazy after that. Everything I had heard, and after the workouts I had with Coach [Cam] Cameron.... I thought I was a good fit there. But I'm tremendously excited to be a member of the Browns.
On people calling him a pretty boy
Come on, I'm not a pretty boy. If I fall into that category, then someone else has placed me there because I don't consider myself to be that at all. I mean, look at me.
On his voraciousness
I'm a really big eater. My linemen and I would go to buffets and compete, and they'd make fun of me because next to them I'm a skinny thing. Then I'd show them up by outeating them. I would have like seven or eight chicken breasts or three or four plates of chicken Parmesan and pasta.
On his favorite celebrity encounter
Vince Vaughn came to campus to do a stand-up routine during my junior season, and I got to hang out with him afterward. We tried to take him to a couple of parties, but that was way too out of control. So we headed to IHOP at two in the morning and hung out for two or three hours, telling jokes, eating pancakes. I had two or three stacks.
On working out
The ideal for me would be six times a week. It's tough keeping a schedule when you're traveling. You have to do things like push ups on the floor in your [hotel] room, wall sits, lunges, squats, everything in a space that is barely big enough for you to stretch out in. I'm a big cross-training guy too. I have a boxing coach who helps me train. The way you move around when you're throwing punches or throwing a football in the pocket is very similar.
PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPH
SIMON BRUTY (QUINN ACTION)