Ian Book was a bit of an afterthought in the 2016 recruiting class. 3-star rating out of El Dorado Hills, California he originally was a commitment to Washington St., but flipped in August of 2015 to ND.
Not much about his recruitment foreshadowed the impressive impact he would have during his ND career.
Book redshirted in 2016 and then dueled with Brandon Wimbush in the Spring of 2017. He arguably out played Wimbush in the Blue Gold game that year but Wimbush won the job.
It would take not one but two coming out parties before Book would get the full time quarterback job.
He saw action here and there in the 2017 season in relief of Wimbush as the Irish and “33 Trucking” rolled to a 9-3 regular season and a Citrus Bowl berth against LSU. That game was scoreless with 2 minutes left in the first half and Brian Kelly was looking for a spark. Book was put in and the rest is history. 14-19 for 164 yards, a couple of productive scrambles and then a play that instantly earned Book a place in Fighting Irish history. With 1:28 remaining and the Irish trailing 17-14, he found Miles Boykin along the sideline for a 55 yard TD pass, and the Irish were Citrus Bowl champions.
That was coming out party one.
Despite the heroics, Wimbush retained his job as the starter going into 2018 and the Irish started the season 3-0. But the ND offense needed a boost and in the 4th game of the season at Wake Forest, Book was handed the keys, again. He responded with a 325 yard passing effort and accounted for five TDs, two through the air, three on the ground and the Irish rolled to a big victory.
Coming out party two was another success and the QB job was Book’s to keep.
With Book running the offense, 2018 saw the Irish roll to an undefeated regular season and the College Football Playoff. He put up excellent numbers: 68% passing, good for 2628 yards and 19 TDs.
2019 was more of the same. Lots of wins, 34 more touchdown passes and over 3000 yards through the air. The Irish ended the season as champions of the Camping World Bowl.
In the 2020 pandemic season, Book tossed another 15 TDs against just 3 interceptions, and for 2,830 yards, again leading the Irish to the College Football Playoff. During that season Book set an all time Notre Dame record by throwing 266 consecutive passes without an interception.
Among the skills that made Book so effective during his time at ND was his scrambling and ability to improvise. For his career, as a runner he scored 17 TDs and gained 1518 yards.
A two time team Captain, Book holds a place among the top five quarterbacks in the Notre Dame record books in 29 game, season or career record categories. But his most impressive was winning. As a starter he compiled a record of 30-5, making him the winningest quarterback in Notre Dame history.
Book was drafted in the 4th round of the 2021 NFL draft and is currently a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.