Now that the calendar is rolling towards the spring and the Notre Dame football schedule seems just about set, it's time for Fighting Irish fans to turn their attention to preparation for the new season. First up is the Blue-Gold Spring Game that takes place on April 20.
There are going to be all kinds of different stories that will be worth watching when the Golden Domers take the field against one another. Indeed, people will want to see who looks like the starting running back. They're also going to want to see the new wide receivers added to the roster this winter.
There is however, one battle that will take place at the Blue-Gold Spring Game that could right at the top of the list of "what to watch." That battle will be Riley Leonard vs Steve Angeli. It's the future hero of the Notre Dame football program and the man who held down the fort while one teammate after another decided to depart.
When he's had the chance to do it, Angeli has been plenty impressive this season. After Sam Hartman decided not to play in the Sun Bowl, the backup-turned-starter played very, very well. He completed 15-of-19 passes for 232 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Notre Dame football has an interesting position battle queued up
On the season, Angeli completed 77 percent of his passes for 504 yards, 7 TDs, and 1 INT. In an era that didn't involve the transfer portal, he'd be the odds on favorite to start in 2024.
However, Riley Leonard is all but anointed the starting quarterback for next season. He came here for his final year of eligibility because he believes he'll be the starter. There's been no indication from Marcus Freeman and company that he's not right.
So for at least one game, Notre Dame football faithful will get to see the two quarterbacks go head to head. One has to wonder if the competition doesn't show some real seperation. Could the future hero get supplanted by the current one? It's going to be interesting to see everything play out.