Notre Dame has had seven Heisman Trophy winners but shockingly not since 1987. Can quarterback Ian Book end that drought this year? Here are two props available to wager at Mybookie on Book’s Heisman Trophy chances and Notre Dame’s 2020 college football season – assuming there is one – and an overview.
Ian Book Heisman Trophy Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season
- Heisman Trophy odds: Book is +2500 to become eighth Irish Heisman winner
- Odds to win national title: Notre Dame is +3000
Book is out of El Dorado Hills, Calif., and was a three-star recruit in the Class of 2016. He had: 7,632 passing yards, 78 touchdown passes, and 64.6 percent completion percentage (603 of 934) at Oak Ridge High.
Recruit-wise in the Class of 2016, Book was No. 17-ranked pro-style quarterback by 247Sports, No. 39-ranked quarterback by Scout, No. 22-ranked pocket passer by ESPN and No. 14-ranked pro-style quarterback by Rivals. He originally committed to Washington State but flipped his commitment to Notre Dame.
Book redshirted his freshman year as the Irish had two good starters in Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer and a talented backup in Brandon Wimbush. Book sat behind Wimbush for most of the 2017 season, but he started for an injured Wimbush against North Carolina, leading the Irish to a 33-10 victory over the Tar Heels in his first collegiate start on October 7.
In the Citrus Bowl that season against LSU, he came off the bench and led the Irish to a 21-17 victory. He went 14 of 19 for 164 yards with two fourth-quarter TD passes. With the Irish down, 17-14, connected with Miles Boykin for a 55-yard TD with 1:28 remaining to help Notre Dame secure its first victory in a New Year’s Day bowl since the 1994 Cotton Bowl against Texas A&M.
In 2018, Wimbush struggled early so he was replaced as the starter by Book in the Wake Forest game and there was no going back – Wimbush would eventually transfer to Central Florida. Book finished his sophomore 214-for-314 passing (68.2) for 19 TDs passing, while rushing 95 times for 280 yards and four TDs. He ranked eighth nationally with a 68.2 completion percentage and 17th in pass efficiency. Book became the first FBS quarterback to win his first five starts of a season with a completion percentage over 70% in each game since Russell Wilson at Wisconsin in 2011.
Last year, the Irish finished 11-2, capped by a 33-9 rout of Iowa State in the Camping World Bowl. Book completed 20-of-28 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown while rushing seven times for 30 yards. The 6-foot, 212-pounder completed over 70 percent of his passes at over 8.8 yards per pass.
Book would be named the Irish’s Offensive Player of the Year for last season. He started all 13 games and finished 240-for-399 for 3,034 yards and 34 TDs to just six interceptions. He also ran 112 times for 546 yards and four TDs (includes getting sacked 15 times for 78 yards).
In doing so, Book became the first QB in Notre Dame history with at least 2,500 passing yards, 500 rushing yards and 30 TD passes in a season (Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts was the only other FBS QB to reach those milestones in 2019). Book also had five games on the year with four or more passing TDs, the most in a Notre Dame football season. With six career games of at least four passing TDs, Book trails only Brady Quinn in career games with four-plus passing TDs at Notre Dame.
Book is 20-3 as a starter, a record that is underappreciated given the pressure of playing that position at Notre Dame under Brian Kelly. Book contemplated turning pro after last season but thought better of it as he was only going to be a mid-round pick at best.
Here’s what ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said of Book’s pro prospects for 2021: “Book is just a good college quarterback. I think, as a backup in the NFL, that’s what you’re hoping maybe he can develop into. I have him at nine in terms of the quarterbacks. He’s in that mid-round to late-round type of guy.”
Book will be missing two top targets this year as tight end Cole Kmet and top receiver Chase Claypool were both NFL draft picks.