9) Kory Minor, LB, Notre Dame: Has been one of the Irish's top defensive players since becoming a first-stringer in the second week of the season. Finished regular season with 48 tackles and six sacks, second on team.
10) Brandon Short, LB, Penn State: Played one game on special teams before breaking left foot in practice. Nittany Lions will seek medical redshirt.
Don't expect Florida State quarterback Danny Kanell to meet the same fate as his predecessor, Charlie Ward, who in 1993 won the Heisman Trophy and led the Seminoles to the national championship but then went undrafted by the NFL. Kanell is projected to be a second-round pick next April, but some scouts say the best NFL quarterback prospect to come through Tallahassee in recent years is Jon Stark, Kanell's former backup.
Stark left Florida State last December for Trinity College, an NAIA school with an enrollment of 1,000 in the Chicago suburb of Deerfield. "He's better than Kanell," says one AFC scout of Stark. "He just doesn't get the exposure. But don't call him a sleeper. Most NFL people know who this kid is."
Stark spent two seasons on the Seminole bench, behind Ward and then Kanell, throwing only 66 passes during that time. "I liked Florida State," says Stark, who has thrown for 3,142 yards and 21 touchdowns for Trinity this fall. "But I needed a place where I could showcase myself. There are a lot of backups out there like me who just need a chance."
Indeed, Florida junior Eric Kresser and USC senior Kyle Wachholtz, both of whom have spent long stretches backing up Danny Wuerffel and Brad Otton, respectively, are projected by scouts as better NFL prospects. Kresser, though, doesn't plan to follow Stark's lead by transferring, even though he will likely remain Wuerffel's backup next fall.
$8 Million Man
He woke up last Saturday morning feeling as cool as the other side of his pillow. Notre Dame quarterback Thomas Krug flipped on the TV, and there he was, in a taped interview on ESPN, trying to convince his interviewer that he felt little pressure going into the Irish's game that evening against Air Force. Several hours later Ron Powlus, the injured first-string junior signal-caller who has had his share of high-pressure Saturdays, turned to Krug on the team bus and said, "You know, you should probably start thinking about the game now." Replied Krug with a laugh, "Yeah, I probably should."
The match was hyped as the $8 million game, one which would either send the Irish to an alliance bowl game or home for the holidays for the first time since 1986. By extension Krug became known as the $8 million man. As it turned out, he played a near mistake-free game, and Notre Dame's 44-14 defeat of Air Force lifted the Irish into probably the Sugar or the Orange Bowl, or possibly even the Fiesta Bowl.