If you are a football fan to any degree, you know the following statement to be true. Quarterback is the single most important position in the sport. Coincidentally, this position has been a frustration for Notre Dame fans for well over a decade.
Sure, there have been some standouts. DeShone Kizer comes to mind, Ian Book in recent vintage as well in terms of quarterbacks who made it to the NFL after their Notre Dame careers ended. But even when including these players, the Irish haven’t had a signal caller they win their biggest games because of. Not with, but because of.
This needs to change for Notre Dame moving forward and with the rumor mill ablaze regarding quarterback recruits and the Irish, let’s take a look at five things to consider about the current quarterback dynamic.
Recruit Kenny Minchey
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No, it isn’t [autotag]Dante Moore [/autotag]or any generation of the Manning family. However, it seems that after [autotag]Kenny Minchey[/autotag] rescinded his verbal commitment to Pittsburgh earlier this week, the four-star signal caller is leaning toward picking the Irish. So much so that he will be in South Bend for Senior Day.
As solid as Notre Dame’s recruiting class is already (third-rated according to 247Sports), the quarterback was the glaring missing piece. Minchey would fill that need with actual upside. This is not a case of “getting a guy” just to check off the positional group need.
Recruit CJ Carr
Nobody in the Notre Dame fan base has forgotten the excitement last summer when 2024 prospect [autotag]C.J. Carr[/autotag], the grandson of former Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr chose the Irish over the Wolverines and essentially everybody else.
The idea of stacking Minchey in 2023 with Carr in 2024 is a huge step in the direction of high upside stability in the QB room that Notre Dame hasn’t had in the last 25 years plus. This is how you breed high-level competition for the starting job.
A 2023 Transfer QB?
Nov 27, 2021; Stanford, California, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) rushes for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
As things sit presently, Notre Dame will enter next year with a likely unknown at starting quarterback. That’s unnerving, to say the least. Think about it. [autotag]Tyler Buchner[/autotag] coming off injury is an unknown. [autotag]Steve Angelli[/autotag] is an unknown. Kenny Minchey would be an unknown. And [autotag]Drew Pyne[/autotag] is a known, but one of low physical upside.
This is where I see a transfer stepping in. Someone with starting experience. A known quantity to build a bridge to whatever comes next which is hopefully for the Irish, a young high upside starter that can be developed for years to come. Notre Dame cannot afford to continue operating with unknowns at the most important position.
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There is a large contingent of the Irish fan base that is ready to see Notre Dame go in a new direction at offensive coordinator. They’ve seen enough non-elite offense and signal-caller play to have the desire for fresh eyes on the situation.
The issue with this change is this – would it affect quarterbacks like Minchey and Carr who very much like Rees and the way he has recruited them? If Rees were to hop to the NFL would these players still want to come to Notre Dame? This is a dynamic that must be investigated and considered.
Tying It All Together
]Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
For Notre Dame to hope to recruit and acquire top-end skill players, one of the top attractions would be selling recruits on the tape of a Notre Dame quarterback that is electric. One that can make all the throws and operate an exciting explosive offense.
Notre Dame simply has not had this to offer in recent vintage. Whether it be C.J. Carr, Kenny Minchey or a player to be named later, being able to sell potential recruits on an established proven player that can get them the ball will make recruiting easier than it is presently. The stability this kind of play will breed can carry Notre Dame further than some realize. This should be program priority number one.