Notre Dame football: Irish must lean heavily on RBs with Ian Book gone

The Notre Dame football team has tremendous talent at running back, which will be the focal point with quarterback Ian Book gone.

For the last three seasons, the Notre Dame football team has had the luxury of having Ian Book as their starting quarterback. Throughout his three-plus seasons under center for the Irish, Book became the school’s all-time winningest quarterback, leading the program to two College Football Playoff appearances.

Following the team’s loss to No. 1 Alabama in the Rose Bowl, Book announced on Twitter that he would be leaving for the NFL Draft, something that was expected. With Book gone, the Irish are going to have to rely heavily on their outstanding running backs, and hope that whoever steps in at quarterback can continue the winning ways of the program.

This past season, the Irish saw the emergence of redshirt freshman Kyren Williams, who dominated in his first season as the starting running back, becoming the ACC’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. Williams rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2020, propelling the Irish to an undefeated regular season and a spot in the CFP.

In 2021, Williams and fellow freshman Chris Tyree will be needed even more with Book gone.

Dynamic duo of Williams and Tyree at running back

No matter who is under center next season, whether it transfer Jack Coan, true freshman Tyler Buchner, or even Brendon Clark or Drew Pyne, the fact is, the Irish offense will revolve around the run game. While Williams got most of the love last season, and rightfully so, Tyree figures to have a bigger role in the offense in 2021.

Tyree was a huge recruit for the Irish and has a different skill set than Williams does, and they could end up being a Thunder and Lightning-type duo. While Williams can pound the ball, Tyree is an absolute burner, and we got to see some flashes of brilliance last season.

Of course, the Irish will have to revamp their offensive line this season, as four of their five starters from a year ago are gone. However, the Irish are bringing in an outstanding class of offensive lineman, and have some key veteran returning, including center Jarrett Patterson, who may move to left tackle.