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DeShone Kizer: I took the fun out of being Notre Dame QB

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A 1-3 record at one of college football's elite programs would burden any starting quarterback, but for Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer, the time to renew spirit has come.

The redshirt sophomore, in remarks similar to those made by Clemson star QB Deshaun Watson earlier this month, is looking to have more fun Saturday in a road game at Syracuse.

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"I get the opportunity to be the quarterback of the University of Notre Dame. That is a privilege that people dream about, that I dreamed about, and I took the fun out of that," Kizer said on Wednesday. "And that's my biggest regret in the first four games is I had so much love for this position, love for this team that I took on a lot more than I ever should, which put a lot of pressure on my back, and that's something that I'm going to have to remove and go back to just doing what I love and having a good time."

Kizer has been impressive despite Fighting Irish losses to Texas, Michigan State and Duke, passing for 261 yards per game with 11 touchdowns. However, costly turnovers contributed to coach Brian Kelly calling Kizer's player "unacceptable" after last week's loss to Duke.

Although Watson is the more accomplished of the two as a Heisman Trophy finalist and College Football Playoff standout, two NFL scouts recently told NFL.com's Lance Zierlein that they preferred Kizer to Watson. Both could be available in the 2017 NFL Draft if they apply for early draft eligibility.

Watson also admitted a necessary attitude change, citing the absence of fun due in part due to the pressure to perform. NFL.com analyst and former scout Bucky Brooks wrote about how such pressure can affect Watson, and all players, earlier on Wednesday.

One primary difference between Kizer's remarks and Watson's: The Clemson junior's frustration bubbled without the assistance of a loss. The Tigers are 4-0 entering a crucial home game against Louisville.

Meanwhile, Kizer will start against the Orange on Saturday, and his performance remains under close review.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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