Founder, The Sports Court
Ian Book, the undersized, 3-star recruit from El Dorado Hills, California, managed to string together one of the most impressive careers in Notre Dame Football History.
Despite being first in all-time wins for QB’s in school history, critics are still harsh on Book for not having a good enough arm.
However, Book didn’t listen to the critics, instead, he outperformed the rest of the country in nearly every statistical category. Including wins.
Book didn’t see the field as a freshman, but as a sophomore, he got on the field and played scarcely throughout the season.
It was in the 2018 Citrus Bowl, Book’s last game of his sophomore season, that he rose to prominence. Book connected with Miles Boykin in one of the greatest ND Football plays of the 21st century.
Following his sophomore year, Book started every game, including his 5th year, leading Notre Dame to two College Football Playoff games, both of which ended in heartbreaking losses to Clemson.
Book also produced some of the greatest Notre Dame moments in recent memory. In the 2020 regular season, including a regular-season win at home against Clemson. In a tightly contested matchup, Book fumbled late in the third quarter while attempting to run in for a touchdown.
The 23-23 game seemed to shift Clemson’s way, but Notre Dame’s defense led by Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah stayed strong and held Clemson to a field goal.
Later in the game, with only 26 seconds left, down 33-26, Ian Book dropped back and delivered a bullet pass which helped Notre Dame tie the game and force it into overtime where Notre Dame, led by Book’s heroics, prevailed and won 47-40.
The Fighting Irish, who didn’t see much success following the days of Tony Rice and Rocket Ismail, finally tasted what it felt to be on top again after Book stepped into the program and took over the reins after Book got announced as the starting QB.
All of this information leads all Notre Dame fans to a question asked many times, where does Ian Book rank amongst the all-time great Notre Dame quarterbacks?
If there is one thing Ian Book is, it’s that he’s a winner. He may not have the strongest arm but he has one thing that the Notre Dame program was lacking for nearly 20 years, the ability to change a game. The ability to carry a team. The ability to win.
Ian Book helped Brian Kelly save his job and provide relevancy to the Notre Dame program again.
While analyzing stats and only judging players off of their stats, ability, and what they did for the Notre Dame program and only the Notre Dame program, Ian Book puts himself in top ten positioning.
Book falls short to the likes of Angelo Bertelli, Johnny Lujack, John Huarte, Joe Theismann, and Jerry Rice; he prevails over the likes of Brady Quinn, Evertt Goldson, Jimmy Clausen, and many more all-time greats.
Ian Book produced some of the greatest recent memories in Notre Dame history, however, unlike some of his all-time legend counterparts, he didn’t win a Heisman or National Championship which sees him as the 7th all-time best Notre Dame quarterback behind the 5 previously mentioned as well as Joe Montana. Right behind Book at the 8 spot is Brady Quinn followed by Irish legend, Ron Powlus, at the number 9 spot.
Overall, Ian Book proved all the doubters wrong with his heroics in his fifth year at Notre Dame. Many said Book could never reach the potential of one of the best QBs in the nation, yet he did. Although he couldn’t get to the National Championship Game, Book provided some of the greatest games and plays in Notre Dame history and left South Bend as the all-time win leader, a stat that should not be taken lightly.