Their careers started out similarly. The hyped-up freshman entering school being told there was an opportunity to play.
He didn't start at first, but by midseason everyone knew the lineup and that the freshman had to be in it. The freshman represented the future and had the talent for the present. Notre Dame junior quarterback Brady Quinn went through it in 2003 out of Dublin, Ohio. So when his sister, Kelly, started the same path this year as a freshman soccer forward at Virginia, the advice started coming.
And coming. And coming.
"I'm sure she's tired of hearing stuff," Brady said this week. "It helps her realize it's the same game. That's one of the things I try to tell her."
She listens, too. Older sister Laura said Brady is probably the only Quinn from whom Kelly takes advice.
"Anything he says, I listen to him," Kelly said. "Even guy advice."
The suggestions started a few years ago, when Brady began his Notre Dame career and Kelly continued to dominate Ohio high school soccer. Kelly suffered an injury and was unable to play in the state championship game her senior season.
She wanted to play, despite not being able to walk. Brady sat her down and dispensed what Kelly considers the most important advice she's gotten.
"I was crying and he sat down and said everything happens for a reason and this isn't the biggest thing in your life," Kelly remembered. "You don't need to risk playing in a high school game. You have a whole college career ahead of you.
"It almost made me cry even more because he cared that much."
Brady is known nationwide now, thanks to Notre Dame's NBC contract, his 1,181 yards passing and 10 touchdowns and his good looks that caused Abercrombie & Fitch to consider him for a model and Hollister, where he worked in high school, to place him as a greeter in the local store.
Brady Quinn is one of the pretty people.
"We joke about it in our family, even," Kelly said. "Well, if football doesn't work out, he has a modeling career.
"Other girls are like, `Your brother is gorgeous.' I'm like `Hey, we can be sisters. I'll hook you up. You can be part of the family.' "
Sorry girls, Kelly is kidding. And Brady's been attached for a while.
Meet 19-year-old Lindy Slinger, a sophomore at Miami, Ohio, in Oxford. Kelly and Lindy played soccer together for years in Dublin and Lindy's been with Brady since before he became the newest Mr. Notre Dame. She dated him back when he was merely Brady from Dublin.
She's been with him through his different fashions: the Hollister/surfer boy phase his teammates talk about from his freshman year; the shaggy, fraternity boy look from sophomore year and this year's clean cut junior style.
Although, she said, the current one might have been a product of summer antics.
"He experimented with a Mohawk this summer," Slinger said from Oxford this week. "I never thought Brady would do that but he did. It was like two days. One of his close friends has been cutting his hair since he was little.
"They were out in the driveway, shaved a Mohawk. He's crazy."
He's also caused her to be known not as Lindy, but as "Brady Quinn's girlfriend" around her Miami campus.
Not that she minds. She's used to it now, going out and watching Brady sign autographs everywhere he goes and girls staring at him, watching him as he walks by.
The attention is growing. Three MySpace accounts have been created as his name - none of which shows any proof to actually being Brady. There is a Brady4Heisman Web site. Whenever ESPN runs a college football commercial, some sort of Brady Quinn image appears in the montage.
"He's a Tom Brady," said his 22-year-old sister Laura, a senior a Cal State Los Angeles. "He's good looking. He's modest and a sweetheart. Brady is honestly a good kid and he's got the looks to boot. He's got everything going for him.
"He's got manners and he's courteous of everybody. He's the prototype of a quarterback."
There's the comparison everyone makes - the link to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Part of it comes because of the common coach, first-year Notre Dame leader Charlie Weis. Part comes because stylistically, they play the same sort of game. Part of it comes because of the charisma and the good looks. They even have the same attributes - both are listed at 6-foot-4 and Quinn outweighs Brady by six pounds.
And although people don't know it, Quinn has modeled before. All the Quinns have.
"He got a lot of work when he was younger," said Laura, who continued modeling and aspires to be a sports broadcaster. "We all did different stuff. He got out of it a lot earlier than Kelly and I because of sports. It was mostly Schottensteins (a department store in Ohio) and textbooks."
There's one other piece, too, that's helped Brady Quinn with the celebrity.
It runs in the family. He's been able to search out one of his own for advice, much like he dispenses it to his sister.
Zachery Ty Bryan - who played the eldest son, Brad, on "Home Improvement" and has since dropped the Ty - is his cousin. The two send e-mails and instant messages and try to see each other a few times a year.
Bryan, now 24 and still acting, told him to stick with the people who were there before he became big-time Brady Quinn.
Of course, he can say that. He remembers Brady when he was little.
"He was the scrawny little kid," Bryan said. "He was in the back yard of the pool, this little kid. You should see the pictures.
"Now, he's this yoked guy. Where did that come from? He was really skinny. Next thing I know, he's 2-and-a-quarter."
And now he's becoming a big-time celebrity.
"It's so wild," Bryan said. "What I went through with `Home Improvement,' it's cool to see someone going through the same thing. We can talk and I can give him advice as to what mistakes I did make and the good choices I made.
"Now, we have to hope he makes it to the NFL."
Then, of course, he'll be a full-blown celeb.
Source: Journal Gazette, October 1, 2005