Packer: Busy Clausen evaluates Vols

Former Tennessee quarterback Casey Clausen is doing just what he did when he came to Knoxville back in 2000. He is working hard to make a name for himself.

"I'm in the insurance business out here in California," Clausen said. "I'm in commercial and general insurance and personal lines insurance with a company called Poms Associates, Inc. We do a lot of high-end insurance for clients who own a business and have a lot of assets. It's a process getting my name out there, but it's happening slowly but surely."

Clausen was a highly recruited quarterback from the West Coast when he stepped on campus nine years ago. But, he wasn't the only West Coast kid in the program at the time.

"We had a number of us that made the move across the country to play at UT," he said. "Donte Stallworth and Onterrio Smith were two of the biggest-named guys who went over. We actually had 7 or 8 guys from out here who made the move over.

"To be real honest, I didn't have much knowledge of the SEC and that part of the country when I signed. I remember my sophomore year when we were about to play Florida in Gainesville. All week long in the paper and on TV everyone kept saying that we had no shot of winning. They all said that it was an impossible place to win.

"You know, I think that helped me because I was so unaware of what was going on that the atmosphere didn't bother me. To be real honest, it fueled my fire. We had an 'us-against-the-world' approach back then. It may have been because we didn't know any better."

Clausen had a number of great games and great plays during his time wearing No. 7 for the Vols, but the highest of highs and lowest of lows were compacted into a few weeks late in the 2001 season.

"That Florida win down there was huge for us," he said. "We were like an 18-point underdog in that one. That was a real high winning that game and putting Tennessee in the national championship picture. But, then there was the next week against LSU. Man, that one hurt when we lost to them. I've never had one hurt like that.

"Then we went to the Citrus Bowl and played what I think was our best game in my time at Tennessee. Everyone was healthy and we played like we knew we could. To go from the Florida win to the LSU loss and then to the Michigan win was a wild stretch."

As for his legacy at Tennessee, Clausen isn't really sure what it is.

"I don't know, hopefully it's a good one," he said. "We won a lot of games when I was there. I think I had so much success early that the expectations got very high my junior and senior years. My junior year we had just lost a bunch of guys to the draft and then we lost some starters in the spring. We just never got going that year.

"My senior year was the most gratifying for me because of what we overcame to have a very good year. We lost Kelley Washington and Jason Witten that year and still posted 10 wins. That year we won at Florida and at Miami."

As for why the Vols have fallen on hard times, Clausen says it's simply parity in the SEC.

"When I was there, it was really Tennessee and Florida, and maybe Georgia a little bit," he said. "Now, it's literally eight or nine teams. And, back then there were some gimme games. There are no easy ones any more. You can't pencil in a win over Kentucky and Vanderbilt anymore. I spent some time at Mississippi State as a grad assistant and you can't pencil in a win over those guys anymore.

"I will say this, the days of Tennessee recruiting nationally again, and getting guys from the West Coast are coming back. I've known Lane Kiffin for a while and I know that he will go all over the country to get the top guys."

Clausen is coaching quarterbacks at Oaks Christian High School and has a couple of top-notch quarterbacks that he is tutoring and mentoring.

"Nick Montana will be a senior for us next year and he can play," said Clausen. "He already has offers from LSU, Ohio State, Stanford and several other schools. He was up there in Knoxville last week and absolutely loved it. Nick was very impressed.

"Trevor Gretzky will be a junior who just started playing quarterback last year, but that kid is going to be great. He's about 6-4 and has all the tools."

If the names sound familiar, they should. Nick Montana is the son of NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana's son. And, Trevor Gretzky is the son of former hockey great Wayne Gretzky.

"I will say this, you can't understand how impressive it is for a kid to go from out here on the West Coast where the stadiums hold 60,000 to 70,000 stands, to Tennessee where the facilities are the best in the country and the stadium holds over 100,000. For a kid out here, that's unbelievable. I'm not going to sway Nick and Trevor one way or the other in their decisions. However, they've asked me several times about Tennessee and I'm very honest with them. I've told them that if you want to play big-time college football, there is no better place in America than Tennessee and the SEC."

Clausen also thinks Kiffin will change the perception of Tennessee football.

"Look, don't get me wrong, Coach (Phillip) Fulmer was my coach and will always be my coach. But, if Kiffin does at Tennessee what they do at USC, he will open up practices and invite the public to come watch. Pete Carroll did that at USC and what it's done is build a real fire inside kids to be a part of that program. Over the years it builds the passion for kids beyond what it already is.

"Practices will be intense. Those guys at UT don't know what they're in for. From the moment they step on the field it will be non-stop intensity. Kiffin will want practice to be an event.

"Any time you get new, young coaches in a program, they bring a new level of excitement. UT will get kids like Bryce Brown and other top recruits. They are big-time recruiters . . . I mean big-time. It won't be long before Tennessee is back. I may be way over here on the West Coast, but I'm jacked about what's going on in Knoxville."

And, with the recruitment of the top quarterbacks he has, Clausen will be right in the middle of the rebuilding job at Tennessee whether he likes it or not.

Mark Packer hosts the Locker Room, presented by Parkwest Medical Center, on Sunday at 10 p.m. on MyVLT2.

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Comments » 54

hbvol writes:

It is always great to have a former player promote our program like that. We could only wish that everyone who comes through the program loves it that much. Keep the torch lit Casey...

chrisw2967 writes:

how many days until spring fotball?

clausenforheisman writes:

Please keep the Clausen stories coming. Thanks!

tractoronthepole writes:

Casey, I drove in from Memphis for your first Alabama game, wanting to win but half expecting to lose. I remember you having your helmet(head) removed and you tried to continue the play. I knew we had a warrior at that point. It was even better that we won the game.

FlaVol2 writes:

Bring them on Casey. We need your help.

RJ_Vol writes:

For those who didn't give Casey his due, I think this article speaks volumes. He honored the past at UT and pointed to the future. One of the kids he coaches made a visit. Casey's legacy is solidified in my mind as the best "road QB" to ever play at UT or maybe even the SEC - @ Notre Dame, Miami, UFx2, etc. He was a gamer.

jasonsq85#219731 writes:

Casey was never one to throw the tightest spiral (in fact, most of the time it was pretty ugly), but he usually hit his target. The guy certainly wasn't one of the more physically gifted QBs we've ever had, but he was a flat-out winner. We could use a guy with his mentality right now.

volsfan87 writes:

Casey Clausen was/is/always will be a bad A...he is awesome...when are we going to get some more players like him to come through the sysytem?...players that actually give a sh*T about playing for TENNESSEE!!!...people used to make fun of me for loving clausen so much, but i knew what he was about, and he is proving me right today!!!...he says we will get guys like bryce brown in the future...hope that means we will get bryce brown, because he like clasuen is a bad A/game changer/ program changer!!!

tums writes:

Casey was on my shortlist of favorite Tennessee players, he may have even moved up a bit. I love everything he had to say. The 34-32 game at Florida in 2001 was one of my favorites of all time. The Michigan game that year was hilarious. Whitten outran the entire Michigan defense for the long TD. This is bringing back great memories. I also really like what he had to say about the program.

tennezz writes:

Thanks Casey for being a vol, for the wins and for the memories! GOD BLESS!

foosballer writes:

At Alabama...4th and 19...nuff said.

pkaplan writes:

in response to chuck0303#1342365:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dave Hooker interviewed Clausen on the Sports Page and Mark packer interviewed him earlier in the week. They are not a rehash.

foosballer writes:

in response to 1stAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No offense, but Ainge never had a great deep ball (remember his 1st one for a touchdown against UNLV, freshman year, kinda funny looking)

As for Cutcliff...Kelly, Shuler, Manning, and Martin all threw some pretty good deep passes under his tutelage.

kbart4033#247331 writes:

Casey was a throwback. I believe he would have played both
ways, if we'd have needed him. His performance in the OT marathon win in Tuscaloosa is an all-time classic. Glad to
hear he is doing well, still involved in football...and
still a Vol!

volroadwarrior writes:

Clausen was a winner. For all the criticism for Ainge's dink and dunk, I would have given my left n** for a little successful dink and dunk last year. Even though he had interceptions in the SECE game, I always had reason to believe Ainge could engineer a win if we were behind and within a touchdown late in a game. I feared more when we were ahead and the other team was chewing up yards against the prevent defense. Good luck Casey and wish you great success.

volunteer11 writes:

most under rated/appriciated qb to come to tennessee

daschmit#297884 writes:

in response to tums:

Casey was on my shortlist of favorite Tennessee players, he may have even moved up a bit. I love everything he had to say. The 34-32 game at Florida in 2001 was one of my favorites of all time. The Michigan game that year was hilarious. Whitten outran the entire Michigan defense for the long TD. This is bringing back great memories. I also really like what he had to say about the program.

That victory over Florida, Spurrier's last game in the Swamp, was truly one to savor. Travis Stephens gashed their defense to the bone, running for almost 230 yards, more than any back had gained against the Gators since Herschel Walker. The margin of victory was by no means indicative of the degree to which we whipped them in the trenches.

newtonrail writes:

in response to chuck0303#1342365:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I live in Cleveland, Tn. If you wish to see a nothing paper come on down. You must own/write for some weekly around Knoxville. I appreciate what GVX gives us, even if JA pushes my buttons occasionally( Quit sucking on lemons John).

volbald writes:

Casey was one of UT's better quarterbacks in the past 50 years. It wasn't his fault UT lost to LSU - blame the head coach, and the DC - really. One of Chavis' poorer games - no adjustments for new LSU QB Mauk and no suggestions at the time from Fulmer. And Rick Clausen played well for UT. Credit Fulmer for messing up the QB situation - just like he did this year. Sanders took the fall for Fulmer in 2005. Maybe it will all work out that UT was 6 years late in firing Fulmer.

Major_Magilicutty writes:

Half of you are liars...I've not seen one positive comment posted about any of the Clausens (or Clawson ;) in a very long time. Enjoy your band wagon jumping!

Thanks Casey for the great years while playing, and for your unwavering loyalty after.

VOLorado writes:

one of the best

the numbers don't lie

however, Casey's real strengths were always the intangibles.

txsvol#372416 writes:

Casey's career with us had a watershed moment with the injury to his shoulder (or was it a sterno-chondral injury?) to his non-throwing arm.* The first half of his UT career showed almost unlimited promise, as a freshman starter, but the seocnd half of his college career showed us just how much courage he had in the face of adversity, some of it coming from the ignorant criticism of his own fans. Well, at least Brittany Jackson understood--did that romance last beyond Tennessee? Great to hear about Casey, one of our best! *(Arkansas game of 2002, if memory serves.) SAVol

matt52500#220452 writes:

Casey is and was the MAN! If half the guys on the team had the heart and swagger he had on the field (Along with guys like Al Wilson and Eric Berry to name a few) I don't know what I would do with myself. They are great guys that played the game the right way.

wyomingvol writes:

WoW!

Thanks Iceman...

You still the man and thanks for making some great wins (as a fan, in person) for the University of Tennessee Volunteers!

You will always be A 'Big Game' Player!

MidTennVol writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm with you, Plastic. Casey was indeed tough and a terrific competitor. A true Volunteer.

Thanks, Casey. Always a Vol.

teampenny#658108 writes:

Good to get a former player point of view. Hope to see more. Do hope practices are open so we can get real time news how the team is doing. go vols

txvolsfan writes:

The Iceman

In the words of the great Stuart Scott, "As cool as the other side of the pillow." especially in hostile environments.

Not the greatest physical gifts but what a competitor, he laid it on the line for the Vols every week!!! and found a way to win.

londonvol writes:

I truly believe that we (TN) will now be considerated by all that plan on playing college ball. Credit that to the head coach and his team. College ball is about excitement, effort (teamwork) and a fired up fan base. I love it because, I think of the guys that never went pro but won games for us. That my friends is what college ball is all about.

suPEARLman writes:

The IceMan!!!!

Loved this dude. Threw the best fade pass in UT history.

Bigger_Al writes:

I think Casey's legacy is Road Warrior. He won in Gainesville twice, @ Alabama twice (including that incredible OT game), and broke Miami's home win streak.

Thank you Casey!

invisiblekid writes:

in response to txsvol#372416:

Casey's career with us had a watershed moment with the injury to his shoulder (or was it a sterno-chondral injury?) to his non-throwing arm.* The first half of his UT career showed almost unlimited promise, as a freshman starter, but the seocnd half of his college career showed us just how much courage he had in the face of adversity, some of it coming from the ignorant criticism of his own fans. Well, at least Brittany Jackson understood--did that romance last beyond Tennessee? Great to hear about Casey, one of our best! *(Arkansas game of 2002, if memory serves.) SAVol

Glad you brought that up SAVOL. People forget he played half a season with the collar bone injury. The guy was as tough as nails and I am glad to see him doing well.

Hopefully, he is influencing the next generation of CA kids to become Vols.

djvol writes:

Thanks Casey!

JOHNWARD4EVER writes:

Great article,Good to see some Real loyalty,Casey was a warrior.
We love ya son,stop in and see us when ya can!!

GO BIG ORANGE!!!

jeremy78tn writes:

in response to Major_Magilicutty:

Half of you are liars...I've not seen one positive comment posted about any of the Clausens (or Clawson ;) in a very long time. Enjoy your band wagon jumping!

Thanks Casey for the great years while playing, and for your unwavering loyalty after.

Millions of UT fans out there and you think the 20 or 30 that might post here saying they like Clausen (not Clawson) are liars? Let me guess, you're the original fan from the beginning? There are people that really liked Clausen, believe it or not.

JOHNWARD4EVER writes:

in response to jeremy78tn:

Millions of UT fans out there and you think the 20 or 30 that might post here saying they like Clausen (not Clawson) are liars? Let me guess, you're the original fan from the beginning? There are people that really liked Clausen, believe it or not.

You sad it,The Calif. Kid thing scared me at first when he arrived. His toughness,desire and ability grew on me during his days here. Heath Shuler,same thing.Peyton had a great career here but he didnt win every game!All these guys are proud to be VOLS!!
MAKES ME PROUD!!!!

JOHNWARD4EVER writes:

Anybody heard anything about Brice Brown since his visit?(hope that wasnt a recruting violation)

Smokey91 writes:

My favorite memory of Casey was his first start against Alabama his freshman year. He got blitzed and the first Bama player hit Casey so hard that his helmet came off but he did not go down. Casey gathered himself and charged ahead with no helmet on right into the Bama line. He was fearless. I knew we had a keeper when I saw that type of courage on the field. Casey did a good job for UT for 4 years and I often wondered how well he would have devleoped if Coach Cutt would have remained at UT and been his mentor instead of Randy Sanders, who simply was too experienced for the job of OC.

StroVol writes:

Definitely a competitor. The fumbles against florida I had to watch in Palm Beach surrounded by gator nuts. Still haunts me to this day. He'll always be one of the better QB's in Tenn history, but those clown feet still only produce about a 7.5 forty.

rockytopspottedbirgdog writes:

in response to newtonrail:

I live in Cleveland, Tn. If you wish to see a nothing paper come on down. You must own/write for some weekly around Knoxville. I appreciate what GVX gives us, even if JA pushes my buttons occasionally( Quit sucking on lemons John).

i am also from Cleveland and the Cleveland Daily Banner is the worst newspaper that i have ever read.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

Casey is in a tough spot: he can't really push UT on these kids, he has to get them to look at what's best. Casey will probably be mroe valuable as time goes on in giving first-hand reports on OHTHER recruits to the UT staff.

I really enjoyed Casey's days at UT. I thought the worst thing he EVER did was backing down from his 'if I'd played at UGA we would have won' comment. I think he did that under some staff pressure. He was right, even with one arm he was better than his replacements, put together.

hotrodvol writes:

He was Dane Bradshaw of the football field. All hustle, thanks Casey.

volmattna writes:

Casey is all Vol! And was a big time player! Bring some of your players back to Volnation! Thanks for all of the memories Casey! GO VOLS!!

Voluvr writes:

Tennessee is getting ready to take over. Soon we will be the new MIAMI in respect to sending players to the NFL, not to mention, the championships that come with having the best players and coaches.

Voluvr writes:

It's great to be a Tennessee Vol!

saveoursaints writes:

Look, my buddy and I have this same discussion from time to time. I think my buddy has a larger man-crush on Casey than what ZZ has on Tebow. I know! How can that be? It's true. I don't mean to bash Casey, because I too think he was a good QB. But I cannot erase from my memory the fact he was less mobile than Manning. And then there was that concussion thing that spread like wild-fire amongst his teammates. I admit, my perception is biased because no matter how hard I try, I just can't get over that peach bowl appearance against Clemson. His stats in that game were impressive, but most of those number were generated after the outcome of the game was already decided. How dissappointed I was to go back to work with all of those other Clemson fans. When you're good, like Casey was, you expect certain things as a fan. Unlike last season, but at least I was able to get some yard work done on Saturdays and not be tied up with the game and then drunk thereafter. Thank you Crompton, my yard looks great!

Bloodrunzorange writes:

Thanks for the memories Ice Man and thank you for your support for the Vols! CLK could use your on the sidelines in Knoxville! Go Vols!!!

mloaks#222092 writes:

best we had since tee. ainge was good but not casey.

tennguyinengland writes:

Some of my most memorable moments of Tennessee football came while Casey was at the helm. Our current quarterbacks should look at tape of Casey, because none of them can hack it as a pro, but they could go down as a Tennessee legend if they showed the same heart, integrity, and desire to win that Casey did. Keep the articles coming, this is my only source for Tennessee football news over here in the UK.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to Smokey91:

My favorite memory of Casey was his first start against Alabama his freshman year. He got blitzed and the first Bama player hit Casey so hard that his helmet came off but he did not go down. Casey gathered himself and charged ahead with no helmet on right into the Bama line. He was fearless. I knew we had a keeper when I saw that type of courage on the field. Casey did a good job for UT for 4 years and I often wondered how well he would have devleoped if Coach Cutt would have remained at UT and been his mentor instead of Randy Sanders, who simply was too experienced for the job of OC.

Great post...and dead on, especally the last part about what he might have accomplished with Coach Cut.

I still wear my Clausen jersey sometimes. Great legacy from the "7"...Condridge Holloway, Deon Grant, Casey Clausen.

Who wears "7" now? Anyone know...

gnm53108 writes:

Naffy...please leave the racist sh1t off this site.

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