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Notre Dame Football

Elite 8 | Most Important in 2020: Ian Book vs. Braden Lenzy

April 2, 2020

16 of Notre Dame most important players have been cut to eight after ISD members voted over the last week. 

The first Elite 8 matchup will be No. 1 quarterback Ian Book against No. 8 receiver Braden Lenzy. 

How we got here: Book defeated No. 16 linebacker Drew White with 62 percent of your votes, while Lenzy held off No. 9 defensive end Daelin Hayes with 51.4 percent of the votes. 

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

Matt Freeman on why Book should advance: Who gets Lenzy the ball? The quarterback. The coronavirus eliminated spring ball, so it will be even more crucial for teams to have experience in 2020, especially a two-time captain.

Book had parts of his game to work on during spring ball, but it was more for his backup, Brendon Clark. The sophomore quarterback has yet to take a meaningful rep in a game and would have benefited from a ton of work this spring. 

It's an easy choice. In what could be a short prep period for the season, a seasoned quarterback is even more critical considering the backup has virtually zero experience. 

Braden Lenzy
2019 Stats:
11 receptions for 254 yards and two touchdowns. 13 rushes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Three kick returns for 71 yards.

Jamie Uyeyama on why Lenzy should advance: Outside of Chase Claypool, Notre Dame had one big play threat last season and it was Lenzy. With Claypool off to the NFL, that leaves him as the only player returning with more catch or run over 40 yards on the roster. Lenzy had five.

That happened on only 24 touches and it took until Navy before he had more than two touches in a single game. 

He's a big-play threat as a runner and receiver. He has the kind of potential to break out as a star in 2020. 


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