Ian Book, The Rise of an ND Legend?

QB Ian Book, The Rise of an ND Legend?

“IRISH RESILIENCE”

In the inaugural edition of Legion Magazine, we’ll take a look at Ian Book and his legacy at Notre Dame… and you should too.

Ian Book’s FIRST Year as a Starting Quarterback

It has been said that the two most important jobs in the Catholic Church are the pope and the starting quarterback at Notre Dame. Not necessarily in that order. Last season, Ian took over for Brandon Wimbush, a 56-27 blowout against Wake Forest.

Ian would go on to amass

  • 2 touchdown passes
  • 3 running touchdowns
  • 2,628 yards passing
  • completing 214 passes
  • 314 attempts

Setting a record for completion percentage for Notre Dame quarterbacks at 68.2%, surpassing the previous record set by Jimmy Clausen.

That’s what many overlook, that Ian wasn’t the incumbent. Book threw an errant pass or tucked the ball and ran when should have thrown it into the stands. After all, this was Brandon’s team and Ian had to prove himself, despite his performance in the 2018 Citrus Bowl. The same Citrus Bowl performance when Book came off the bench and led the Irish to a come from behind victory in the 4th quarter, featuring a catch by Miles Boykin that some of you might have seen once or twice?

I’m going to say something that might upset some folks, but I feel compelled to put this out there. Ian Book hasn’t hit his ceiling yet and if he maintains his poise and hard work in the off season. He’ll be the best quarterback we’ve had since Joe Montana.

Ian Book has the confidence…

He has the confidence, the drive, the chip on his shoulder. He’s carried without being obnoxious about it while being labeled by some as “undersized” or “not athletic enough.” The typical naysayers who pontificate about replacing Book after anything less than a 300 yard, 3 touchdown performance with 0 interceptions that want to nitpick every aspect of his game. The same ones who were crowing loudly after the Cotton Bowl game against Clemson.

One thing you should notice about Book: give him some motivation and he’ll make you pay. He has the spark, the team responds to his leadership and he put the city of South Bend and the University itself on his shoulders. Ian marched straight into the college football playoff in 2018. Not bad for a guy who began the season as the backup quarterback.

Ian Book plays hard-nosed, old school Notre Dame Football

Stanford? Check. USC? Check. One by one, Ian put away familiar foes on the Irish schedule while motivating this team to be better than the critics wanted us to be, week after week. It was an entertaining narrative, with the “experts” predicting that the Irish were on “upset alert” against teams such as Virginia Tech, Stanford, Northwestern, Syracuse. One by one like dominoes they fell, and when the smoke cleared, the Irish were 12-0 with all of the critics hiding in shadows with full stomachs from heaping servings of crow.

Ian has a newfound motivation…

Now, Ian has a newfound motivation. Unfinished business after the Cotton Bowl, and a new slew of critics to silence. Take one look at Book and you can see this kid has lived in the gym. He looks stronger, and still lean. Watching Book at the spring game seemed to be testing the deep ball ability. An area where has shown some inconsistency. However, the throws looked better, more on target than before. Ian didn’t seem to lose a step in the speed department, despite putting on pounds of muscle mass in the off season. It is evident that he has worked on his weaknesses throughout the winter and the spring and has a look of determination one can only obtain after getting so close to the goal, only to fall short.

Ian’s High School Statistics

Ian Book has never completed less than 60% of his passes over the course of a season in his high school or collegiate career. As a Sophomore at Oak Ridge High School, he completed 60% of his passes during the 2013-2014 season, 62.5% his Junior year, and 70.5% his Senior season (statistics courtesy of maxpreps.com). In his first year as a starting quarterback for the Irish he threw for nearly the same completion percentage as he did in his Senior year in high school, against the best talent in the NCAA. That’s significant by itself, and there are arguably more offensive weapons for Ian in this upcoming season. A strong spring and continued development under the tutelage of Chip Long and Tommy Rees has Book poised to put up bigger numbers in the 2019 season.

Ian Book isn’t afraid to use his feet…

Book isn’t afraid to use his feet, but he looks to pass first. Ian understands the run game, opens up the passing, and doesn’t walk around with an air of superiority. Because he’s been there as the backup. Ian is the embodiment of all traits we look for in a leader on this team: work ethic, ability, motivation, and humility. Book will lower the shoulder and throw his frame into the open arms of a linebacker to pick up a first down. Shake it off, and return to the huddle like nothing happened because it’s about the team. He believes in this University and the motto emblazoned above the heads of all players while leaving the locker room on a gold sign in blue print that reads, “Play Like A Champion Today.”

The time has come for us to believe in Ian Book as much as Ian Book believes in his teammates and himself. My Legion, show some good ole IRISH RESILIENCE!

WE ARE…

Sean Buck
Lead Writer/Administrator
Legion of the Leprechaun