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Notre Dame Football

ISD Sweet 16 | Most Important in 2020: No. 1 vs. No 16

March 22, 2020

It's Sweet 16 week! 

Well, at least for Irish Sports Daily. 

Jamie and Matt came up and seeded the 16 most important players to Notre Dame's 2020 campaign and we're giving ISD members the chance to advance them in a single-elimination tournament. 

Today's opening round: 
No. 1 QB Ian Book vs. No. 16 LB Drew White

Ian Book
2019 Stats:
240-of-399 for 3,034 yards, 34 touchdowns and six interceptions. 112 carries for 546 yards and four touchdowns.

Why he is the No. 1 seed: The offense will go as Book goes and we saw that last year. Book had his ups and downs the first half of 2019, but turned a corner the final half of the year. 

Notre Dame will face Wisconsin, Stanford, Clemson, Louisville and USC in 2020, which will require Book to raise his game from 2019, but also demonstrate leadership when adversity hits. 

It's worth noting Book has the respect from his teammates because he puts in the work and is a relentless competitor, which earned him the starting job in 2018.

Why Book should advance: Book is QB1 at the University of Notre Dame.

Drew White 
2019 Stats: 88 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, two fumble recoveries and one pass defended

Why he is the No. 16 seed: White is clearly the best linebacker for the Mike position, but Notre Dame doesn't have a lack of depth at linebacker. Bo Bauer, JD Bertrand, Jordan Genmark Heath, Jack Kiser and Shayne Simon can also step in and play Mike. Osita Ekwonu could also play the position if worse came to worse. 

That said, White proved he could not only play at a high level, but make game-changing plays. 

White will now need to prove he can take over the defense from a leadership perspective. Notre Dame lost its vocal leaders from a year ago and there is a void he needs to step into starting now. 

Why White should advance: If UMBC can upset Virginia, Drew White can knock off Ian Book....maybe. 

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