Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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10 FEBRUARY 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME BRIAN KELLY RECEIVES MORE HONORS On Dec. 17, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was honored as the Associated Press National Coach of the Year for the 12-0 regular season posted by his Fighting Irish. It is the second time since the honor's incep- tion in 1998 that Kelly has been bestowed the AP award, having also won it in 2012 after his first 12-0 regular season at Notre Dame. He joins Nick Saban — who won the AP award in 2003 at LSU and 2008 at Alabama — and TCU's Gary Patterson (2009 and 2014) as the lone multiple recipients. Eleven days later on Dec. 28, Kelly received the Dodd Trophy as Coach of the Year via scholarship, leadership and integrity. Kelly now has the distinction as the lone Notre Dame head coach to win any Coach of the Year Award twice in his career at the school. Home Depot selected him for the same honor Dec. 5. It was the third time (2009 at Cincinnati, and 2012 and 2018 at Notre Dame) he won it from Home Depot — and no one else has done it twice since it was first presented in 1994. He also is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year honor announced Jan. 5. TOMMY REES NAMED 2018 FOOTBALLSCOOP QB COACH OF THE YEAR After a Notre Dame playing career from 2010-13 in which Tommy Rees started more games (31) and threw for more yards (7,670) and touchdown passes (61) than any other quarterback at Notre Dame under head coach Brian Kelly, Rees continues to produce for his alma mater. The second-year Fighting Irish quarterbacks coach was named FootballScoop 2018 Quarter- backs Coach of the Year, first awarded in 2009 and presented by AstroTurf, for his work with junior Ian Book and senior Brandon Wimbush. Book went from a backup role to a starter and finished the regular season ranked fourth nationally in completion percentage (70.4) and eighth in passing efficiency (162.5 rating), both of which would be school records in a season if they hold up through the College Football Playoff. Wimbush also won all four of his starts. Rees is the second Notre Dame quarterbacks coach to win the award. Mike Sanford Jr. (2015), who recruited Book to South Bend, was the other. Sanford was the head coach at Western Kentucky in 2017-18 before getting fired and recently was hired as the offensive coordinator at Utah State. Late in the telecast of Notre Dame's 30-3 loss to Clemson in the College Foot- ball Playoff, ESPN noted that Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly confirmed to the network that senior quarterback Brandon Wimbush will use his fifth sea- son of eligibility as a graduate transfer at a school to be announced later. Wimbush graduated from Notre Dame's prestigious Mendoza School of Business in December and practiced with the team in preparation for Clemson. "Sometimes you have to look out for your personal best interests, and I think this is one of those times that is going to impact my decision in the long run," Wimbush told ESPN's Marty Smith. "I just want to have an opportunity to go fulfill my dreams." Recent Notre Dame quarterbacks un- der Kelly who previously took the same graduate transfer route were Dayne Crist (Kansas), Andrew Hendrix (Miami [Ohio]), Everett Gol- son (Florida State) and Malik Zaire (Florida). The reasons in all cases are at least two-fold: One, the Notre Dame degree is in hand. Two, one doesn't generally return for a fifth season as a backup quarterback when there is a chance to start elsewhere at your desired position. Minus Wimbush, Notre Dame's 2019 scholarship roster will feature three quarterbacks: starter Ian Book, who has eligibility re- maining in 2019 and 2020; freshman Phil Jurkovec, who redshirted this season despite making two game appearances; and incoming freshman Brendon Clark, who will arrive in June. Including the 21 freshmen who signed Dec. 19, Notre Dame now stands at 92 scholarships for 2019, with one or two more possible freshman additions in Feb- ruary. The number has to be at the NCAA limit of 85 by the start of the 2019 season. Wimbush started 12 of the 13 games during a 10-3 campaign in 2017 and set the single-season school record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 14. He rushed for 803 yards, second most in a season by an Irish quarterback, and also threw for 1,870 yards and 16 touchdowns. This year Wimbush started the first three games, earning the game ball in the 24-17 victory versus Michigan in the opener. He was supplanted by Book after a 3-0 start because Notre Dame was averag- ing only 23.3 points per game, and Book was more adept and accurate at spreading the ball around as a passer. Wimbush also started in place of the injured Book in the 42-13 victory versus Florida State Nov. 10. Brandon Wimbush Will Use Fifth Season As Graduate Transfer Under the guidance of Rees, junior quarterback Ian Book finished the regular season ranked fourth nationally in completion percentage (70.4) and eighth in passing efficiency (162.5 rating). PHOTO BY ANGELA DRISKELL Wimbush graduated from Notre Dame's prestigious Mendoza School of Business in December with an accounting degree and will use his fifth season of eligibility at another school in 2019. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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