SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -Before Ron Powlus even arrived at Notre Dame in 1993 as a freshman quarterback, college football analyst Beano Cook memorably predicted he would win two Heisman Trophies.
Expectations aren't as high the second time around as Powlus is back on the sidelines as an assistant coach.
Powlus spent the last two years as director of personnel development for coach Charlie Weis. When the third-year coach was looking last spring for an assistant to help develop Notre Dame's young quarterbacks, he turned to Powlus.
``I felt that what these guys really needed was a mentor, somebody who's actually lived the experience that they're about ready to go through,'' Weis said. ``Brady (Quinn) had already been hardened when I got here. These guys are pups. And I think that Ron having walked the walk and talked the talk, I think that will be an invaluable addition and complement to what I do.''
Powlus' main job won't be to groom the next Quinn. Weis makes no secret that he's the one in charge of making sure the starter is ready to play.
Weis as offensive coordinator in New England helped Tom Brady blossom into a Super Bowl-winning quarterback and helped Quinn grow into a first-round draft pick. Weis also will personally tutor whomever wins the starter's job - Evan Sharpley, Demetrius Jones or Jimmy Clausen. The starter won't be announced until the Irish take the field Sept. 1 against Georgia Tech.
Powlus will coach the others and help the starter adjust to the glare that comes with being quarterback under the Golden Dome. After all, Powlus lived it as possibly the most famous recruit ever to arrive in South Bend. He remembers it well.
``Being on all the time and having everyone worry about what you're doing and what you're saying and where you're going and who you're with and how you're playing and what throw you made and did he pick his nose or scratch his nose?'' Powlus said.
While all that may not sound like a lot fun, Powlus believes it comes with the job.
``When you accept a scholarship here to be the quarterback, you're accepting that responsibility,'' he said.
That is part of his discussions with the players.
Powlus, who never coached before, wouldn't talk about specific advice he gave any of the three quarterbacks, calling the discussions private. But he's talked to each of them about the same topics.
``I've been in all of their shoes. Trying to win the job, having the job, being the starter, being young and new and trying to get it,'' he said.
Sharpley called Powlus a great asset.
``Any time you can bring someone in who's gone what you're going through and been in your shoes it provides great experience,'' he said
Jones described the 33-year-old Powlus as ``our safety guard to coach Weis.''
``Because he understands more because he's been in that position. He's played quarterback before. It's definitely better having him as quarterback coach because he can relate more to us. He's a younger type of guy. He's got specific ways that he gets things through to us that he wants us to learn.''
Weis hasn't allowed Clausen, who has been frequently compared to Powlus as a top-rated recruit, to talk with the media yet. Powlus answers questions about Clausen by talking about the quarterbacks in general. But the comparisons likely will continue as long as Clausen is at Notre Dame.
Powlus acknowledges he didn't live up to expectations. He set 20 school passing records, but never came close to winning a Heisman, and the Irish were a mediocre 30-17-1 during his four seasons as starter.
But Powlus said he never felt expectations were too high for him and he has no regrets.
``Everything that I learned that was good I learned here,'' Powlus said. ``I don't know I would have predicted winning awards and things like that, but I wanted to compete at the highest level possible.''
Powlus hopes expectations are always high for Notre Dame quarterbacks.
``It's part of the gig. That's why you come here. You come here to play. You come here to play with the whole world watching. That's part of the fun,'' he said.

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