As Notre Dame football starts the search for its next quarterback, there is one signal-caller entering the portal they should stay away from.
Sam Hartman has two games left in his Notre Dame football career. Head coach Marcus Freeman has already made it clear he’s going shopping for another portal quarterback this offseason. So doesn’t Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers seem like a perfect fit for the situation?
In a word, no.
That answer could be a bit of a surprise for some Fighting Irish fans. After all, Rogers has put up insane numbers over most of his career.
The “most” qualifier is important in this situation. The Sam Hartman story is a big reason why.
Under Mike Leach and the Air Raid offense, Rogers did indeed have two very good seasons. He had just 36 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in 2021. He had 35 TDs and just 8 INTs last year.
This year? 12 touchdown passes and 4 interceptions. It’s possible some of the blame comes from Mississippi State having a head coach who was in over his head. But a lot of it could also have to do with the change in offensive approach.
The Bulldogs moved to a pro-style offense. Similar to the kind of offense Notre Dame football uses. In response, Will Rogers has about 2,000 fewer yards passing than he did a year ago.
Yes, the MSU quarterback has also been a bit banged up this year. He’s missed 5 games. But it’s hard to believe he’d throw 23 touchdowns for 2,000 yards in those games. In his final game with his now-former team, he had 200 yards and no TDs.
Notre Dame football needs to be pickier about its quarterback
The Fighting Irish have seen this before. They went out and got a quarterback who put up monster numbers in a gimmicky offense who then couldn’t come close to reproducing those numbers in South Bend.
Marcus Freeman and company are almost certainly going to be interested in Will Rogers. They should ignore his gaudy numbers, remember how he put them up and look toward better fits for their scheme.