Notre Dame Football 2019 Look Ahead: Quarterback

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 24: Quarterback Ian Book #12 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish throws a pass against the USC Trojans during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 24: Quarterback Ian Book #12 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish throws a pass against the USC Trojans during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

For the first time in a while, the quarterback position looks stable for Notre Dame football heading into the next season with Ian Book likely to return.

It is never too early to look forward to next season, and it is a nice break from all the hoopla regarding the College Football Playoff. This part one of our “2019 Look Ahead” series at Slap the Sign. Fellow site Contributor Mason Plummer and I will take a deep dive into the 2019 season with the athletes we expect to be on the roster. What will each position look like depth and talent-wise next season? Where will Notre Dame football improve? Where will the team regress? We will have all that information for you over the next few weeks.

As always, we start in the Quarterback room, and this could be a special unit for Notre Dame in 2019. That’s unless Ian Book surprises us all and enters the 2019 NFL Draft. Kidding, obviously.

Nathan’s Take 

2019 should look a lot like how many fans felt in 2016 with DeShone Kizer entering his second season as QB1 for the Irish. Book enters his fourth season in the program with 2 years of eligibility remaining. This should be music to every Notre Dame fan’s ears. Book is accurate, athletic and smart with the football. He also has a little of that Baker Mayfield swag (and body type) on the field. We should be looking at another year of stellar quarterback play.

Behind Book is where things get interesting. It’s possible that Brandon Wimbush elects to stay as a fifth year senior. He could serve as the main backup to Book and even provide some interesting personnel packages for Chip Long. It is also possible that Wimbush transfers out to pursue a starting gig somewhere else. A few other scenarios could see Wimbush entering the NFL draft as an athlete or hanging up the cleats altogether to pursue other avenues outside of football. I’m sure the coaching staff has a good pulse on this situation is prepared for all scenarios.

If Wimbush is no longer on the roster, one of the crown jewels of the 2018 recruiting class awaits his turn. Phil Jurkovec preserved a year of eligibility as a true freshman this year by red-shirting. He is perceived to be Notre Dame’s quarterback of the future — presumably for 2020 and beyond — but he will have to wait out Book’s tenure. If Jurkovec needs to step in at any point next season, the talent is there to keep Notre Dame a Playoff contender.

Also on the roster next year will be 2019 expected signee Brendon Clark out of Manchester High School in Midlothian, Virginia. A three-star according to, Clark has been committed to Notre Dame since July 4th, choosing the Irish over offers from Clemson, Duke, Wake Forest and many others. He recently capped off a very successful senior season with a Virginia Class 6 State Championship. Clark doesn’t come with the same fanfare as Jurkovec last class or Drew Pyne in 2020, but he has shown over the last season he is very worthy of his Power Five scholarship offers. As we all remember, Book was a three-star as well.

Mason’s Take 

Looking forward to Notre Dame’s quarterback situation next year, it may seem clear to many fans. Many of you may be thinking, “Book is coming back and we are going to the CFP again baby!”.
Well, you might be wrong. Do what you will with this information, but during this past Saturday’s Notre Dame CFP media day, Book would not say that he is coming back next season.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean he is or isn’t, but it is interesting and something to keep an eye on.

Currently beyond Ian Book, there is Brandon Wimbush and Phil Jurkovec. Assuming Wimbush transfers after losing his starting job, that leaves Book as QB1, Jurkovec as QB2 and incoming recruit Brendon Clark as QB3.

Jurkovec is the one to look out for to possibly challenge Book next spring. It’s no secret how high everyone around Notre Dame is on him.

Three-star recruit Brendon Clark is one to keep an eye on as we get into next spring, and it will be interesting to see how he progresses. He has a strong arm and is not simply a pocket-passer. Many are writing him off because he is sandwiched between Jurkovec and Pyne, but Clark can play.

Predictions and Expectations for 2019 

Nathan: It is reasonable to assume the quarterback position should be, at the very least, equal to 2018 with Book back. As a red-shirt sophomore, he was confident and productive as the Irish signal-caller. Another tough schedule awaits Notre Dame, so this doesn’t necessarily scream CFB Playoff again, but Book will have another very solid season for the Irish in 2019. Normal quarterback progression should be expected.

Mason: I think it is hard to improve on how well Book has played this season. It is reasonable to expect the same production next season, and maybe a bit less.