Brandon Wimbush Makes it Official: Notre Dame QB Will Transfer

In the days leading up to the Cotton Bowl, news leaked out that Brandon Wimbush was going to transfer.  At the time both he and Notre Dame did their best to try and dance around the topic, but on Wednesday Wimbush made it official.  He will be using a graduate transfer for his final year of eligibility.

Wimbush, ever the classy individual, took to Instagram to post a heartfelt message to the Notre Dame community.

View this post on Instagram

I can’t begin to explain the feeling. There are no words to fill the void. There’s something this place, & these people, do to you that no one can garner the words to explain unless you’re a part of it. I guess Lou did say it best – “Those who know Notre Dame, no explanation is necessary. Those who don’t, no explanation will suffice!” I THANK YOU! I THANK YOU! I THANK YOU for what you’ve given me these past 4 years. I was probably only able to recognize a tenth of the people who have moved my life in a direction that I could never imagine on my own! From my immediate family, to my football family, to the red army, to the supportive & the non supportive fans, to my Stanford Hall brothers, to all the professors that’ve dedicated so much, to the best business school, Mendoza, my Clancey St brothers, my Prep family, to the friends! To the friends!! To the long Time friend’s! to my Lady who’s loved me unconditionally! to Jack Swarbrick, to the alumni that’ve help mold me (you know who you are), to Fr. Jenkins – I owe you all. An Instagram post does this school no justice. Thank you Notre Dame – 7❤️✌🏾

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With the new official now, the career of one of the more intriguing quarterbacks in Notre Dame history comes to an end.  No signal caller in program history may have had higher highs and lower lows.  His resume includes engineering a 49-14 beatdown of archrival USC a year ago and a win over Michigan this year to start the year.  It also includes some forgettable performances against Ball State and Vanderbilt.

Unfortunately for Wimbush and Notre Dame, he was never able put it all together and be the weapon everyone envisioned he would be when he enrolled four years ago.  His freakish athletic ability was never in doubt.  It was his inconsistency in the passing game that forced Notre Dame’s hand this year in replacing him at quarterback with Ian Book four games into the season.

Wimbush handled his benching like a true pro though and Notre Dame fans should never forget that.  He could have sulked.  He could have transferred immediately like Kelly Bryant did at Clemson.  He stayed though and he was a model teammate.  He was rewarded with one final start against Florida State on Senior Night as luck would have it.  Wimbush delivered one more blowout at the helm of the Irish offense.

Where is Brandon Wimbush Headed Next?

Wimbush did not make any announcement as to where he is headed but speculation has been running wild ever since news leaked on Christmas Eve of his intention to transfer.  One of the most obvious destinations is Penn State.  The Lions lose Trace McSorley and Wimbush was originally committed to Penn State before flipping to Notre Dame.

Another possibility is Georgia Tech.  With Paul Johnson retiring and taking his option offense with him, the Yellow Jackets are short on non-option style quarterbacks on their roster currently.

Wherever Wimbush ends up though, Notre Dame fans should be rooting him.  Well that is unless he ends up playing for someone on Notre Dame’s 2019 schedule.  Then it would be OK to not do so for one week at least.  Odds are he won’t end up playing for a 2019 opponent and odds are he will delight the fans of whoever he does play for with some highlight reel plays next fall.

Notre Dame’s Quarterback Depth for Next Year

With Wimbush officially transferring, Notre Dame still has at least three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster for 2019.  Ian Book returns for his senior campaign and will be the incumbent starter.  Rising sophomore Phil Jurkovec arrived on campus amid much hype and will hoping be improved enough to seriously challenge Book in spring and fall camps.  Incoming freshman Brendon Clark is enrolling early later this month.

Notre Dame also has Avery Davis on the roster currently.  Davis converted into a hybrid running back/wide receiver this fall, but the experiment was not overly successful and a move back to quarterback could still be possible.

For Notre Dame to take the necessary steps needed on offense to be able to compete with the Clemsons and Alabamas, the Irish need both Book to improve greatly this off-season and Jurkovec to seriously challenge Book for the job.  Notre Dame needs elite quarterback play in order to seriously challenge an elite defense like Clemson’s and it did not get it from Book in the Cotton.  With just 10 career starts under his belt, there is still plenty of room for Book to progress towards that.  If he doesn’t though, the Irish need Jurkovec to at least be able to challenge him in camp and be ready if called upon the way Book was this fall.

Impact on Notre Dame’s Roster Crunch

Notre Dame is currently well over the 85 scholarship limit assuming all 5th years seniors were to return.  Wimbush leaving opens up one roster spot.  Defensive lineman Micah Dew-Treadway announced on Wednesday that he too would be using a graduate transfer for 2019 as well.  Notre Dame could still be over the 85 limit by 5 or 6 if Asa Turner or Isaiah Foskey decide to sign with the Irish in February though so expect there to be more graduate transfers and perhaps even some traditional transfers.

There are some obvious names on the roster but out of respect to those players, we won’t speculate on who may or may not transfer.  We’ll let that one play out on it’s own.   Just know that Notre Dame was in a similar situation last year and everything worked out pretty easily so the same will likely happen again this year.

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  1. I know this is not really related to the article above but I did want to point out ND Hockey is playing their outdoor game against Michigan tomorrow (Saturday) at 3:30 on NBCSN. The game will be played in the football stadium (so this is somewhat related to football 😉 ). And I love beating Michigan so hopefully the Irish win tomorrow.

    I don’t follow ND Hockey as closely as ND football or basketball, but this is a game I plan to check out tomorrow.

  2. It wasn’t that long ago when ND offense was considered doing well and the defense was terrible and needed a lot of work.
    Now it seems the opposite is true. There are no easy answers fixing the offense. Remember when Miami clobbered ND in Nov 17 ?
    Mark Richt and the turnover chain had brought Miami back to national prominence ? Just over a year later Mark Richt has tanked,
    lost the locker room and went into retirement. That happened like a bolt of lightning . Now you have a couple of elite teams
    and everyone else. ND is in this mix too. No one knows when the offense and defense can become one and click together
    at the elite level.

    1. Michael,
      Very true…but I would be remiss not to note that Damian has wondered the same thing many times…when will ND put it all together…offense, defense, and creative coaching all at the same time, and sustained, rather than just for a couple of games per year at the most…if even that?

      And it’s not just a BK problem…this “play great on one side of the ball” stuff has been going on since LOU left. I don’t know the answer, because I don’t know why it keeps happening!

      BGC ’77 ’82

  3. David,
    Just out of curiosity, what is your problem with people who are medicated working for a living? (And please don’t misinterpret me here as saying that BK is medicated…I don’t know about that one way or another, though I do know of other ND coaches who did use meds at one time or another…and NO – I won’t name them here).

    I just wonder about your hatred, or at least disdain, for psychiatric medication. Are you a Scientologist? I used Stelazine, Cogentin and Alprazolam for over 20 years (just so I could work and sleep, as opposed to going on SS disability payments, which was the alternative). Nobody except family and very close friends even knew about it until a Physical Therapist working on an old knee injury from wrestling noticed hand tremors and asked about them…so I finally “came out of the closet” at work, so to speak.

    I know there is a vicious stigma about psychiatric problems and meds ( remember what Big Media did to Senator Eagleton, spelling uncertain) and you seem to be a great example of that stigma mentality…so I am asking you to explain your position on it. For myself, I don’t care much what people think about the meds I used…but I understand why a lot of people in this society do want to stay in the closet. Why do people like you and Tom Cruise, and Time and Newsweek Magazine treat it so brutally? I’m not judging you here, I’m just asking…it seems so strange, even ignorant, to me. But because it is such a prevalent stigma there must be some reason for it. Just curious, David.

    BGC ’77 ’82

    1. WHY B G C do you waste time with this ignorant moron? His life is not complete without spewing hatred towards BK. We didn’t hear from him thru the great season , but now he is back looking for someone stupid enough to agree with him !! Congrats to you subway alum you have reached the pinnacle of stupidity!!! So now we need to find someone who can do better than 22-4 in two years, beat sec badboys LSU in a bowl game, get named COACH OF THE YEAR by 2 different awards and make the college football playoffs!! Go smoke another one dopey and bring your buddy with ya!!!!

        I know you are right about not wasting time on him…Damian used to tell me the same thing. I guess it’s just a lifelong habit – I’ve been wasting time on morons all my life. And it has not changed the world, or even my country one bit…much less changed very many of the morons! Fortunately there are not too many morons on this site – that’s why I like it. That’s also why I liked the high schools I taught at. But David does stand out in the universe of morons. If BK is a fraud at 12-1, the inference that I have to make from David is that only the winning coach of the BAMA/Clemson matchup will not be a fraud, since UCF got beat! Interesting thought, “for me to poop on” (paraphrasing the old SNL gag).

        BGC ’77 ’82

      2. I usually avoid responding to his posts. I’ve had my criticisms of BK. Some are more forgiving of BK then I these days. I used to be a BK fan until the Duke game in 2016. Since then I haven’t been able to jump back on the BK bandwagon.

        But the difference for me is I don’t root for ND to lose games. If ND had won a NC this year under BK I would have loved every minute of it. Our trolling friend outright said on the things Frank liked article that he liked that BK vindicated him by losing. That doesn’t sound like a true ND fan to me.

        I had a suspicion ND wasn’t going to make it this year. I’ve seen concerning things earlier in the year with the Pitt game and the Northwestern game. But I didn’t celebrate when ND got stomped by Clemson. I didn’t feel vindicated. I was hugely disappointed like most ND fans.

        If that makes me an idiot in the troll’s eyes. Well so be it. I can live with that. I’ll even wear it as a badge of honor.

    2. Kelly makes millions of dollars and is in charge of protecting and growing a multi-billion dollar brand and franchise.
      As he is not competent to do that job, as proven by his proven inability to prepare his teams to even be competitive with similar peers, he should be fired.

      As far as the meds go…..mind-altering medication disqualifies people from driving a tractor.

      1. Not when the med alters the mind from malfunctioning, or committing suicide (usually due to a chemical imbalance in the brain of dopamine/seratonin) to functioning normally, or at least becoming non-suicidal, David. In fact, in those cases, which are prevalent in MODERN psychiatric care, the “mind-altering” meds should be REQUIRED for those who drive tractors, or any other dangerous machinery…much like requiring some diabetics to take their medicine before driving. Driving during a psychotic break can be deadly, and driving while suicidal is often deadly…though that is rarely acknowledged because of the way some insurance exclusions are written into the policies.

        BGC ’77 ’82

  4. In 9 years, how many changes of starting QB have there been under Kelly?
    How many QBs have now transferred away from Kelly?

    Brian Kelly, QB savant.
    Mr. offensive guru….who has seen success thanks to killer defenses.
    And who now stalks the sidelines in a stunned trance.

    1. David… exactly, Kelly was in a trance throughout the Clemson game. But not only facially and bodily but mentally as well.

      He had zero, zip, nada answers for anything that Clemson brought. Just a pathetic coaching performance on the offensive side.
      His quote afterwards was something to the effect…’our players can beat their players”.
      Maybe so, but clearly our coaches could not beat their coaches.

      1. SA: The assistant coaches were full marks for getting ND as far as they got. Kelly has quite clearly checked out. By being a medicated zombie, he’s not embarrassing Swarbrick into firing him.

        It will be interesting to see how his co-ordinators feel…especially to that ‘Coach of the Year’ award. That must have been pretty hard for them to take.
        Lots of good, new opportunities out there right now. They see Elko in pretty high clover, with a good gig waiting for him when the time’s right. Where’s Kelly going to get them?

    2. Dopey, you pitiful, pathetic excuse. All of a sudden you resurface. When Irish were on 10-0 roll suddenly you dropped out of sight. I place this playoff loss directly on you . Where were your blatant remarks when we needed them.

      1. GK he was jumping up and down in his room and mommy told him ‘ no more internet dopey, remember santa is coming!! GK can you believe he is so stupid he gives all the credit to the assistant coaches, I’VE never heard dumber posts than this dope always has!!

  5. With Book looking overwhelmed in the Clemson game, and not just because of their pass rush, it makes you wonder what Wimbush would have done in the game. He is your classic high risk, high reward type of QB and in a game against a good team like Clemson, maybe you take your chances with that, especially with the running dynamic he would have brought to that game. I’ve seen a lot of posters on here talk about how we didn’t have any good downfield throws this game and that is something Wimbush certainly does better than Book. He has the arm to get those passes out there. I wonder if Kelly was even considering a change at all during this game.

    Either way, it was fun watching Wimbush play for the Irish the last two seasons. I don’t think I’ve seen a QB at ND that is more dynamic with their running ability than Wimbush was. Some of the pressure he got himself out of and to make something out of nothing was pretty amazing. But I agree with the article that the beatdown of USC last year and the opener against Michigan were great. However, my favorite has to be the Florida State game this year and Wimbush throwing for 3 TDs in the first half. After being benched and an undefeated season on the line, Wimbush came in and killed. And then the inspiring things he said about the situation as well…what a great kid.

    1. Yeah, I thought when it appeared obvious Book was not going to be able to engineer a turn around I would have given BW as shot. I commented on that on another board and someone said because he was transferring BK was not going to put him in. Why not? He never gave the coaches any indication he would not give it his all if given the chance. I wouldn’t have held that against him.

      It may have done no good. But Book wasn’t getting anywhere and by the 2nd half what did you have to lose? Instead he left Book out there and we never score again.

      1. Agree Damian. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kelly didn’t play him because of this though. It is Brian Kelly so…

        It’s just like him not playing Jurkovec the entire 4th quarter when the game was already over. Book literally not doing anything and you have the highest rated QB you’ve ever recruited sitting on the bench watching with one game left to keep the redshirt still. This could have been very good experience for him to get in that type of environment, even if it was against Clemson’s 2s. This may have been just as stupid as not playing Wimbush.

      2. Yeah. I probably would have given Book one more series after halftime to see if he got himself together, then I would have tried Wimbush just to see if he sparked something. Amazingly enough the game was not technically out of hand at that point. Score a TD and you have a shot at least of making it a game. Once Love came back the defense did improve again. A TD a stop, get the ball back and maybe, just maybe you gets some momentum.

        And yeah, if nothing happens and you’re still down 30-3 in the 4th quarter I would have put Jurkovec in to get his feet wet. I wouldn’t have expected a miracle or anything. Just some plays, and experience. It’s one thing BK does not do a lot of. In CFB a lot of times your backup QB’s are you’re future QB’s. I’ve always been an advocate of putting them in when you can and letting them try some ‘real’ plays (as opposed to quick handoffs to RB’s). You don’t get that opportunity often. And now with the new red shirt rule it makes it even better.

      3. Kelly was not going to put Wimbush into the game under any circumstances based on his transfer announcement. This is just my opinion but you both know its true.

    2. Good luck to Brandon, undoubtedly a class act. However, you cannot be serious about replacing Book with him. Our offense was horrific under Wimbush and we would not have gone undefeated in the regular season with him. I think your memory is a little short here. The start of the Florida State game was keyed by an interception on the first play giving us possession at about the 10 I believe. Brandon also threw two horrible interceptions so while we jumped off to a great start I would have been nervous if he was in a close game as he followed his history. I too loved his remarkable, athletic running ability but as a QB he never played the position like it was meant to be played. I hope he succeeds wherever he goes but I hope it is not for PSU, the most hypocritical university in the land.

      1. But it wasn’t working with Book. You get to a point you have nothing to lose. I mean, could we really do worse than 3 freaking points. That’s all Book was giving us. I agree with putting Jurkovec in for the 4th quarter as others have noted once the game was out of reach.

        But I would have put Book in for one more series to start the 2nd half and if we were just as ineffective I would have tried Wimbush. I’m not saying the result would change. But the game was not out of reach yet. Keeping Book in there for the entire game, even though it was clear he couldn’t get it done is insanity. It’s like trying to hammer a square peg in a round hole. It was not going to happen.

      2. Rayjay,

        While I agree that Wimbush isn’t your traditional QB, he is good enough for this team to have gone undefeated. The point I keep trying to make about Wimbush is that his ceiling is certainly higher than Book’s. Book wasn’t doing jack in the game so why not bring Wimbush in? As Damian mentioned, we were not out of the game in the 3rd quarter. A switch would have been a good idea because the offense certainly opens up more with Wimbush in the game with the deep throws and read-options.

        I’m going to give you some stats that might blow your mind a bit. Ian Book this year threw 17 TDs and 7 INTs in 10 games. Brandon Wimbush in 2017 threw 16 TDs and 6 INTs in 12 games. Ian Book has rushed for 4 TDs this year. Brandon Wimbush ran for 14 TDs last year. Say what you want about Wimbush and his struggles as a QB with accuracy but these stats tell me that Wimbush, as inaccurate as he was at times, still took care of the football. And honestly, blame Chip Long directly this year for not adjusting the offense to Wimbush’s ability anyway. It was as if the Michigan game was called suited to Wimbush’s style but then the next two it was as if Long and Kelly wanted to “experiment” to see if Wimbush could actually be a pocket passer. UNREAL!!!!!!!! The kid that just set your school record for rushing TDs at the QB position is now going to be turned into a pocket passer. The sheer stupidity of this and watching Wimbush not break the line of scrimmage in the first half against Ball State was possibility the dumbest decision I’ve ever seen by Kelly/Long in ND history. He would have brought a dynamic to the Clemson game that was needed and should have played.

  6. Good luck to BW. I really hope he doesn’t land on a team we play next year. I don’t want to have to play against him. I’ll admit, I expected him to sit on the bench and sulk and think about where he will be playing next year. He’s a college kid, I wouldn’t have blamed him if he was upset. But he didn’t. For the right team with the right offense he can still be a huge asset.

    I still can’t help but feel there could have been a way to integrate him into the offense in some other fashion. I wish we had the opportunity to see him on the field with Dexter Williams and Book at QB. That could have been a deadly trio to have on the field.

  7. Full Disclosure: I was a Brandon Wimbush guy from the start and was thrilled ND landed him over Penn State, where he is likely to transfer. An outstanding athlete but even a more outstanding young man. I never quit on him, although I favored the move to Book. A change that was needed and paid dividends.
    I wish Brandon success wherever he ends his college career, and would love to see him someday back at ND as an assistant coach.


    BGC ’77 ’82

  9. BW remains classy and a team player to the very end.
    I’m sorry for him for the way this coaching staff first misused his skill set, then undervalued and dismissed him from game four on.
    BW deserved better. Being replaced by Book was acceptable; he didn’t best fit the OC’s scheme.
    But not having BW utilized with a package set up to feature his strengths was negligent lazy coaching.
    Would have loved to see what he could have done against Clemson’s pressure when it was apparent that Book was shook- but no way would they insert him after he revealed he’d leave.
    It wouldn’t have looked good for them, especially if able to move the team.
    BW waited patiently to start for two years, and handled the demotion with utmost class.
    He praised and thanked what ND did for him; it appears he maximized the opportunity this world class university offers.
    Thanks for representing ND so well and best wishes next year and beyond.

    1. How did he handle Miami’s pressure last year or Stanford’s last year. I think you have a short memory. Cool it with the criticism of the coaching staff and calling them lazy. You are no archangel even the though Brandon might be.

  10. I would love to see Wimbush at Temple or Rutgers, wide open offenses. I know He will get that Bowl WIN☘️

  11. I for one will not bash Brian Kelly although a few things concern me about him. One is the great coaches in college football their teams get better and better as the season goes on. Kelly’s teams seem to regress like Notredames offense this year or they stay the same.Also too many times I’ve heard Kelly say we need to coach better. Yes I’ve heard Urban Meyer and Nick Saban say that too.The difference is they only say it one time and then they coach better.Also Kelly needs to recruit a lot more speed and playmakers on offense.If you can’t score a lot of points you will not win a national championship in today’s college football

    1. Pete, I agree with the need to recruit more speed and playmakers, and in the process score more points – ar least more than your opponent?. ND has had good speed and playmakers but not at the level to win an NC. The question, or issue, is how can we get them to play for the Irish over the elite programs.

      1. Fitz, I’m not so sure he doesn’t recruit speed, who wouldn’t? But ND’s speed was clearly absent that entire game.
        I longed for the Fuller type slants, 5 yd catch, 25 yd add-on run. Clemson’s DB’s in two season games gave up 400+ yards
        each game. I’m betting it had to do with unsuccessfully defending speed, which we did not display.

      1. Ron Burgundy, infantile drive-by slur delinquent, demanding higher debate quality.

        That’s some world class hypocrisy and self-unawareness.

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