Central Florida has a new quarterback.
Brandon Wimbush, a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, announced Tuesday that he will play his final season of college football at UCF.
Wimbush was Notre Dame’s starting quarterback for all of 2017 and to begin the 2018 season, but was benched in favor of Ian Book. With Book entrenched in South Bend for two more seasons, Wimbush opted to leave the Fighting Irish. Now he is headed to a program that has won 25 of its last 26 games.
The journey continues on… A sincere thank you to Notre Dame for giving me endless opportunities on and off the field. Words truly can not describe what this incredible University and the PEOPLE mean to me and always will mean to me. I’m truly thankful. Cannot say it enough. With that being said, I am excited to announce that UCF has granted me an awesome opportunity to play my last year of collegiate football for their great University. Thank you to Coach Heupel, and Coach Lebby for this incredible opportunity. Looking forward to winning em all! #GoIrish #GoKnights
A post shared by @ brandon_wimbush7 on Jan 15, 2019 at 8:37am PST
“The journey continues on. A sincere thank you to Notre Dame for giving me endless opportunities on and off the field. Words truly can not describe what this incredible university and the people mean to me and always will mean to me. I’m truly thankful. Cannot say it enough,” Wimbush wrote on Instagram.
“With that being said, I am excited to announce that UCF has granted me an awesome opportunity to play my last year of collegiate football for their great university. Thank you to Coach Heupel and Coach Lebby for this incredible opportunity. Looking forward to winning em all!”
With McKenzie Milton injured, Wimbush will compete to start
At UCF, Wimbush will presumably compete with Darriel Mack Jr. for the starting quarterback job. Mack moved into the starting role late in the 2018 season for the Knights after a serious knee injury to McKenzie Milton, the AAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018. Milton suffered nerve damage to his leg and is considered a long shot to play in 2019.
For the season, Mack threw for 619 yards, three touchdowns and one interception while completing 51 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 337 yards and six scores, including four in the AAC title game victory over Memphis. Mack will be a redshirt sophomore in 2019.
Like Mack, Wimbush is a dual-threat quarterback. In 2017, he threw for 1,870 yards and 16 touchdowns, but really struggled with his accuracy. He completed only 49.5 percent of his attempts but was a big threat as a runner with 804 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Wimbush began the the 2018 season as Notre Dame’s top quarterback, but coach Brian Kelly put Book into the starting lineup in Week 4. Book, a more accurate and efficient passer, led the Irish through an undefeated regular season and into the College Football Playoff. Notre Dame, the No. 3 seed, lost 30-3 to Clemson in the CFP semifinals.
After going undefeated in 2017, UCF nearly repeated the feat in 2018 in its first season under Josh Heupel. The Knights cruised through the regular season undefeated and beat Memphis to win another AAC title. However, UCF lost to LSU in the Fiesta Bowl, 40-32. Mack struggled in the loss, completing only 11 of 30 passes for 97 yards.
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