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Darrin Bragg: From Hollywood to House That Rock Built

Jay Fitzpatrick | Thursday, November 15, 2007

Five months ago, Darrin Bragg wasn’t on Notre Dame’s football team. Now he’s the third-string quarterback.

Over the summer, the senior film, television and theater major was an intern at 20th Century Fox under Executive Vice President of Production Jim Sharp. There, he worked on Fox hit shows like “Bones” and “House.”

“Pretty much every day I walked in and he let me do whatever I want,” Bragg said. “And whatever I want, whereever I wanted to go in the company, I got to do.”

Bragg said he was on a television set when Notre Dame Director of Football Operations Chad Klunder called him in July and asked him if he would return to the Irish.

“I was in the middle of work and they said, ‘We need you to come back and play quarterback,'” Bragg said. “And I’m like ‘OK, sure.’ Why not? What am I going to say, no?”

Bragg said he was unsure if the call was true since he had only quit the team two months before he was asked to come back.

“I called them back, and I was shocked,” he said. “I called [quarterbacks] coach [Ron] Powlus and a couple of other coaches to make sure they weren’t pulling my chain,” Bragg said. “I was like, ‘Really? Are you sure?'”For Bragg, the truth marked the end of a wide circle.

Former head coach Tyrone Willingham recruited Bragg as a quarterback out of Bellarmine Prep in San Jose, Calif. But when Willingham was fired after the 2004 season, new head coach Charlie Weis moved Bragg to wide receiver.

“I always wanted the ball every time the quarterback dropped back. I always thought, ‘I’m open,’ even if I was covered,” Bragg said. “[Being a quarterback] helped out playing receiver because you knew if there was a hot [read] or something you knew what to do.”

Bragg did not see any time as a wide receiver in his two seasons at that position and decided in May that he would leave the team. Bragg thought he was treated somewhat unfairly as a receiver before he left the team.

“I was frustrated because I really wasn’t sure how to play the position,” Bragg said. “It’s just great to be back playing quarterback, something I’m comfortable with.”

Now, he’s not only comfortable he’s also important. When Bragg left the team, Jimmy Clausen, Evan Sharpley, Demetrius Jones and Zach Frazer all were ahead of him on the depth chart.

By Notre Dame’s game against Purdue in September, Bragg was a snap away from entering the game with Clausen out because of an injury.

“This year of all years has definitely been kind of a highlight because I’ve been ‘that guy.’ It’s like, ‘What if that guy gets hurt? Demetrius transferred, Zach transferred.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I guess I’d go in next,'” Bragg said. “There was certain points where I was like, ‘Yeah, I should probably get ready.'”

Bragg also said that his emotions haven’t changed much since he returned to the team, but that things will probably change this week for his final home game as a Notre Dame student.

“I think it will be much more important for the last home game, suiting up instead of being in the stands watching it, so I’m really glad I came back just for that last game,” Bragg said.

Bragg’s football career might end, but the film and theatre major has his plans set for after graduation – and they involve Los Angeles.

“I know I’m going to move to L.A., but I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet,” Bragg said. “I’ll probably be a starving actor for the first 6, 10, 20 years, whatever. But it’s something you love, you’ve got to do it.”

And he’ll be coming back to Notre Dame every now and then to watch his former teammates.

“I’ll probably come back next year, dude. I want to come back soon enough where I know guys on the team,” Bragg said, before harnessing his thespian side to imitate an old man. “I don’t want to come back 20 years from now and be like, ‘Back in my day, I was the third-string quarterback in 2007.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article appeared in the Oct. 5, 2007 edition of The Observer.

ed in May that he would leave the team. Bragg thought he was treated somewhat unfairly as a receiver before he left the team.

“I was frustrated because I really wasn’t sure how to play the position,” Bragg said. “It’s just great to be back playing quarterback, something I’m comfortable with.”

Now, he’s not only comfortable – he’s also important. When Bragg left the team, Jimmy Clausen, Evan Sharpley, Demetrius Jones and Zach Frazer all were ahead of him on the depth chart.

By Notre Dame’s game against Purdue in September, Bragg was a snap away from entering the game with Clausen out because of an injury.

“This years of all years has definitely been kind of a highlight because I’ve been ‘that guy.’ It’s like, ‘What if that guy gets hurt? Demetrius transferred, Zach transferred.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I guess I’d go in next,'” Bragg said. “There was certain points where I was like, ‘Yeah, I should probably get ready.'”

Bragg also said that his emotions haven’t changed much since he returned to the team, but that things will probably change this week for his final home game as a Notre Dame student.

“I think it will be much more important for the last home game, suiting up instead of being in the stands watching it, so I’m really glad I came back just for that last game,” Bragg said.

Bragg’s football career might end, but the film and theatre major has his plans set for after graduation – and they involve Los Angeles.

“I know I’m going to move to L.A., but I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet,” Bragg said. “I’ll probably be a starving actor for the first 6, 10, 20 years, whatever. But it’s something you love, you’ve got to do it.”

And he’ll be coming back to Notre Dame every now and then to watch his former teammates.

“I’ll probably come back next year, dude. I want to come back soon enough where I know guys on the team,” Bragg said, before harnessing his thespian side to imitate an old man. “I don’t want to come back 20 years from now and be like, ‘Back in my day, I was the third-string quarterback in 2007.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article appeared in the Oct. 5, 2007 edition of The Observer.