Can Ian Book join the elite Quarterbacks of college football?

Ian Book returns to South Bend as one of the most experienced quarterbacks of the Brian Kelly Era. There is zero doubt that the fifth-year senior has had a tremendous career in South Bend but has yet to be recognized as one of the top quarterbacks in the country. Ian Book continued to improve last fall and the Irish Captain is primed to be mentioned among the elites of college football.

Most Experienced QB of Kelly Era

Ian Book boasts a 20-3 record as the Notre Dame Quarterback. The California native has already proven that he can lead the Irish to the College Football Playoffs (2018) and be a leader in the program. However, the main obstacle that has plagued both Book and Head Coach Brian Kelly is winning the monumental games or a national championship.

In Notre Dame’s biggest matchups, the last two years, Ian Book has come up short against Clemson and Georgia. If any quarterback can take the next step for Notre Dame Football, it is Ian Book.

Ian Book has yet to reach his ceiling. In 2019, the Irish Quarterback threw for 34 touchdown passes and only 6 interceptions. Not to mention, Book was the second leading rusher on the team with 546 yards. The ridiculous aspect of those statistics was Ian Book did not really hit his stride until the second half of last season.

Unfortunately, it took a loss against Michigan and comeback win against Virginia Tech for Ian Book and Chase Claypool to become borderline unstoppable. If Ian Book can build off his performance from last year, fans will be in for a treat in 2020.

Will Ian Book break the all-time wins record? If Book has the type of season that many expect, he will have a great chance to pass Tom Clements, Ron Powlus, and Brady Quinn, all who are sitting at 29 victories as a Notre Dame starting quarterback.

Ian Book’s 2019 Offensive Statistics

Passing Statistics

  • 240 for 399 (60%)
  • 3,034 total passing yards
  • 34 passing touchdowns with 6 interceptions

Rushing Statistics

  • 112 rushing attempts for 546 yards (4.9 yards per carry)
  • 2nd on team in total rushing yards
  • 4 Rushing Touchdowns

Top Receiving Targets in 2020

Tommy Tremble headlines Tight Ends. Tremble returns to South Bend after a productive sophomore season with 16 receptions for 183 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is accompanied by Brock Wright, George Takacs, Kevin Bauman, and incoming freshman phenom Michael Mayer.

Expect Tremble to be the top tight end target through the air, while Wright is used more in run support. True Freshman Michael Mayer could see a lot of playing time this season and the sky is the limit for the Kentucky native.

Which Irish Receivers will step up in 2020?  Unfortunately, Notre Dame’s top returning receiver Kevin Austin Jr. had foot surgery on August 3rd and Coach Kelly said that his recovery may be 8-12 weeks. Luckily for the Irish, they had picked up graduate transfer Ben Skowronek from Northwestern earlier this year.

Skowronek will be accompanied by rising star Braden Lenzy, Joe Wilkins, Jordan Johnson, Lawrence Keys III, and Javon McKinely. Last fall, Lenzy tallied 11 receptions for 2 receiving touchdowns, and 2 rushing scores. While McKinley totaled 11 receptions for 268 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Impact Freshman Receiver? Jordan Johnson comes in as the #37 player nationally and #6 wide receiver in the 2020 class according to 247 Sports. He is expected to accomplish great things in South Bend, but the question is how soon?

Elite Quarterbacks in college football

Can Ian Book reach the top tier of Quarterbacks? There is no doubt that Ian Book is one of the better quarterbacks in the country but has not been associated with Heisman talks or the NFL Draft like Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. Last fall, quarterbacks like Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts, and Tua Tagovailoa, were all at this top tier.

This season, the Notre Dame quarterback is poised to join that select group.

Heisman Chances in 2020. It is unfortunate that some conferences have decided to postpone or cancel football this season, but Ian Book’s odds of winning a Heisman have skyrocketed. Notre Dame Clemson was going to be a monumental game, and with COVID-19, the hype has gotten even greater.

If the Irish beat Clemson at home or potentially in the ACC Championship, Book will have a great shot of heading to New York for the Heisman ceremony.

Final Thoughts

Ian Book is primed to join the elite quarterbacks. I really hope that the college football season can be completed, and a champion crowned. The NCAA announced that players who participate this fall or spring will not lose any eligibility. However, Ian Book hopes he can lead the Irish back to the playoffs and create a high draft status for himself so that he will not need to return.

Last year, Joe Burrow was a good quarterback, but was able to transcend his game and become the #1 overall draft pick. Not saying Ian Book is going to be a first round pick, but I believe there is an even higher ceiling for the Irish quarterback this fall.

Ian Book’s supporting cast will play vital role. The Notre Dame Offensive Line is stacked, but Book will still need support from the skill positions. Whether or not Ian Book can beat Clemson and win a Heisman will be dependent on both his and his receivers maturation throughout the season.

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