Notre Dame Football

Book Excited To Lead Notre Dame In 2019

August 5, 2019

Notre Dame started fall practice on Sunday morning and 2019 will be the Ian Book show as the senior quarterback looks to build on an impressive 2018 campaign.
Book took over the starting quarterback role in the fourth game of the season and didn’t look back. The California native threw for 2,628 yards, 19 touchdowns and just seven interceptions while completing 68.2 percent of his passes.
The 6-foot, 212-pounder has anxiously been waiting for the first day of practice, so it wasn’t a surprise Book was fired up following Sunday’s session.
“I've just been itching to get out here,” Book said on Sunday. “Everyone wanted to get out there. It's camp. It's long, it's hard and it's hot, but I've really noticed this time how excited everyone is for it, which is awesome. It's really good to see.”
In the past, we’ve seen some quarterbacks change entering year two, but Book has remained humble and hungry despite being the face of college football’s most iconic program. Now, Book did admit this camp is a little different being the starting quarterback, but at the end of the day, the senior signal-caller hasn’t changed his mindset.
“It's a little bit different,” explained Book. “I'm thinking of it the same way. I have to prove myself. We got some great quarterbacks behind me pushing me every day. I'm pushing them as well and definitely not going to take the foot off the gas at all. It's the last thing I want to do. I just really want to lead this team in this offense and go as far as I know we can.”
Notre Dame is coming off a 12-1 season and an appearance in the College Football Playoff, which is a fine season. The Cotton Bowl loss to Clemson left a bad taste and Book is focused on leading his team over the next step.
“We say the ceiling is the floor,” stated Book. “We made it to the playoffs and we know what that feels like. We didn't win in the playoffs. We know what it takes to get there. It's time to get there and actually win it this time. Everyone on the team understands that.”
Head coach Brian Kelly gushed over Book’s confidence and leadership on Friday and Sunday. Book might be more comfortable in his role on the team, but he’s also led by example this offseason during workouts and weight training.
“I took pride in wanting to gain some weight, getting a little bit bigger and little bit stronger this offseason,” Book stated. “I think I gained about eight or 10 pounds, so feel good about it. Hat off to Coach (Matt) Balis for that one. He really helped me out.
“This whole team, everyone kind of reshaped their bodies this summer and I've been able to see firsthand just how much bigger and faster everybody got. It's huge and you can’t ask for more.”
The team has naturally gravitated to Book, but that doesn’t mean the coaching staff didn’t challenge Book to lead and test his leadership this offseason.
“I was able to be a SWAT (Spring/Summer Workout Accountability Team) team leader and have some new leadership roles,” Book explained. “I'm the same person I've always been. I've always been confident. It's something that's probably the most important part about being a quarterback.
“You have to be confident. You have to know that you're the best one on the field and when you're out there consistently tell yourself that. That's going to boost your confidence when you start to get the chemistry with the guys and another year in the offense is going help too.”
Book has also taken over the quarterback room as a leader. Brandon Wimbush is gone, so Book is the only player with starting experience as he looks to mentor Phil Jurkovec and Brendon Clark.
“I want to be a little bit more of a vocal leader and lead by example,” said Book. “There are a lot of younger guys, so I’m bringing them along with me, especially with the quarterbacks, Brendon and Phil. I’m taking them along with me to show them everything because when I was there, I wanted the same from you guys are all in me. It's important to be up to go out there and have fun, and lead by having fun. It's fun to do and it's something I've definitely picked up this summer.”
Jurkovec has had some ups and downs over the last few months, but Book has remained by his side and has confidence in the sophomore quarterback.
“Even just from today, the first day in the summer, you can tell his confidence is back up,” said Book. “Whatever he went through, I've been working with him every single day. I know he's got the potential to play here and play D1 football. It's an honor to be in the quarterback room with him and I work on trying to mentor him as well and bring him along.
“He's going to be a good player. He is. I think this camp will be big for him as well just working with the guys and getting the chemistry down.”

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