When Alex Darras arrived at Notre Dame from middle school this fall, he showed up as a lineman. Said Darras,"That was my main position. I was like the biggest kid out there. The biggest kid at our school."
But Darras had demonstrated a strong arm, and the Irish needed help at quarterback. Said Notre Dame head coach Charles Fant,"We were just so thin there. So whoever could throw a football was going to get a chance. And Alex could definitely throw it."
And Darras' chance came quickly. Starting quarterback Tanner Webb went down early in Notre Dame's season opener against Grace Academy. Said Darras,"From the walk to the sideline to the huddle, I was really nervous. I wasn't sure how it would go down. But after I called the play and stuff, I felt more comfortable." Said Fant,"But he came in and was 7-for-10 for 111-yards and three touchdown passes. And we said okay. I think he's okay. He can play."
Darras has thrown for over 1,200 yards this season, making everyone forget he's a freshman. Said Fant,"When he gets into the huddle, he is very confident. I remember several times this year. Guys would say, well, Alex told me to. And then we're like, Alex is a freshman. They're like, oh yeah."
Darras not only has a strong arm, but a strong leg. Last winter, he was named the top middle school kicker in America by prokicker-dot-com. Now Darras thinks playing quarterback helps his kicking game."For a quarterback, you have to have a lot of concentration to focus on everything you need to do and stuff. And for kicking, it's the same because if you lose concentration, you're not going to have a good kick."
But sometimes there can be a concentration lapse after a touchdown. Said Darras,"Like I'll be celebrating with one of my teammates that has just scored. I'll be going to the sideline. And I'm like, oh wait, I've got to get a tee and go kick the extra point."