For college football fans, winter should be a time to rest the heart (and the whiskey bottle) after a stressful season. But this is Notre Dame Football.There’s the annual Signing Day drama, spring finals, transfer rumors, and the coaching carousel. But all of that is just speculation — here’s one thing that’s not going away: Quarterback Controversy.
One of the many proud Notre Dame Traditions: fans irrationally falling in love with the backup QB. But just who will fill that role in 2016? And who will start? Will anyone transfer? What can I learn from carefully curated spring football highlights? I’m not here to dither, I’m here to give you August 2016’s news today:
DeShone Kizer will be Notre Dame’s starting quarterback this year.
Don’t believe me? Read on…
I’m not a sports mathematician, but if you’re the Notre Dame coaching staff, you’re going to like DeShone Kizer’s production any way you slice the data.
Two road losses to top-10 teams in 2015. Number One in total offense and passing yards for ND quarterbacks in the last 15 years (given the same number of snaps). Kizer has the most quarterback experience, the most number of practice reps, and is the clear offensive catalyst for the 2016 team.
Malik Zaire’s introduction to the Notre Dame fanbase was quite impressive with a 38-3 trouncing of Texas. DeShone Kizer introduced himself to the Virginia faithful in perhaps more dramatic fashion. Thanks to the Showtime series, we saw a midseason quarterback transition that evolved, if not flawlessly, then seamlessly as the team found its collective identity.
At this time last year, Kizer (by his own admission) at least gave a passing consideration to switching away from football. Number three on the depth chart with the requisite dwindling practice reps, confidence, and mechanics. Instead, he learned on the fly and digested opposing defenses and the Irish offensive playbook at warp speed.
Kizer effectively managed the offense and distributed the ball to the various playmakers. I could rightly draw comparisons to Tommy Rees’ understanding of opposing defensive schemes, but then I’d be ignoring games like Temple where he put the team on his back and ran (flew?) his way to the end zone.
If I’m a member of the Notre Dame offensive coaching staff (my playsheet features a double tight-end set on 3rd-and-short…or it did until the Luatua news broke), DeShone Kizer has earned both my trust and the benefit of the doubt. His experience is unparalleled. Coming off of a ten-win season, he has earned the opportunity to deepen his skillset with first-team reps in practice.
Oh, and you want nicknames? Kizer Will Helm the Irish is a fair start. Roll With Kizer is timeless (and delicious). The Lord bless thee, and keep thee, the Lord make his face DeShone upon thee… (you get the idea).
Looking at the 2016 opponents (and possibly skipping any actual research), DeShone Kizer will be the most experienced QB on the field for every game this fall. It would be unwise to relegate this advantage to the sideline.