Late on Christmas Eve night “news broke” that Brandon Wimbush would be utilizing a graduate transfer for this 5th year. Why Brett McMurphy formerly of ESPN decided to break the news on Christmas Eve night when it shouldn’t have been news to anyone still surprises me. After Wimbush lost the starting job in week four and Ian Book flourished, this should not have been news to anyone.
We purposely didn’t write anything about the Wimbush transfer on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day because Wimbush has been the consummate teammate during this entire season when he didn’t have to be. For that reason, he didn’t deserve to have his Christmas holiday spent answering questions about a transfer after the season. He also didn’t deserve for the news to be broken as though he was transferring immediately or had other priorities other than helping his team in the College Football Playoffs.
It should have been pretty obvious to everyone that this was going to be the outcome. If anything, it would have actually been news if Wimbush were to return to Notre Dame for a 5th year. With the Irish facing an even bigger roster crunch in 2019 than in 2018, there wasn’t room on the 85 man roster for a 4th quarterback. So the only way Wimbush was returning to Notre Dame would have been at another position. If he wanted to play quarterback somewhere in 2019, it was always going to be at another program.
Now that it’s the day after Christmas, I’ll weigh in though. Brandon Wimbush deserves to transfer wherever he wants and wherever gives him the best chance to fulfill his NFL dreams. Unlike Kelly Bryant of Clemson, Wimbush stayed enrolled at Notre Dame and engaged with the team while losing his starting job. By doing so, he ended up getting another chance to start on Senior Day when Ian Book was hurt keeping Notre Dame’s perfect season intact. Bryant on the other hand, left Clemson almost immediately and when Trevor Lawrence got hurt versus Syracuse, it nearly cost the Tigers the game.
Wimbush handled the situation this year like a pro and hopefully he will get a chance to be THE guy somewhere next year that gives him the opportunity to make it to the NFL. He had his struggles in the Notre Dame offense, but he was 13-3 as a starter for the Irish and without him, Notre Dame is not 12-0 this year and getting ready for a playoff showdown with Clemson.
The other aspect of the news breaking this week that is unfortunate for Wimbush is that the optics outside the program will be that he isn’t engaged and isn’t thinking about the playoffs when nothing could be further from the truth. Wimbush is locked in with his teammates right now and focused on getting Notre Dame to the championship game. If called upon, he will be ready to go and will do whatever it takes to get the Irish to the next round.
In terms of possible landing spots for Wimbush, there are a number of programs losing their starting quarterbacks to the NFL or graduation that could use a veteran “bridge” quarterback next season, but there will be plenty of time to debate those programs after. Again, out of respect to Wimbush, we’ll leave all that speculation to other outlets. m
Over the last four years Brandon Wimbush has been everything that you want a Notre Dame football player to be. Unfortunately his career will end with him in another uniform next year, but until then Wimbush hopefully has two more games in a gold helmet representing the University that he has spent four seasons representing so well.