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Notre Dame Football

Ian Book Not Done Yet: 'I want to win a National Championship'

December 6, 2020

Notre Dame has a new all-time winningest quarterback as Ian Book won his 30th game as the starter on Saturday evening. 

How did Book become so successful? It's easy. He does the little things and always stayed ready. 

For instance, let's go back to the Citrus Bowl win over LSU to cap off the 2017 season. 

People remember Miles Boykin making an insane one-handed catch on a high call and taking it in for a touchdown. 

The ball was thrown high on purpose. Brian Kelly and his staff told Book to throw it high so Boykin could make a play. Ball game. 

Book has not only paid attention to those details, but he's mastered them and that's led him down the path he didn't even see coming. 

"When I stepped foot on campus, I wanted to work hard and become the starter whenever that may be and now we're here today," stated Book following the 45-21 win over Syracuse.  

"It just means a lot. I couldn't have done it by myself. There's a lot of people who helped me get to this point. When I got here, I just wanted to play quarterback and wasn't really thinking about any records or never losing at home. It's a special night." 

Book is living the dream. Notre Dame owns the longest active winning streak in FBS college football at 16 games and has won 24- straight games at home. Oh, and like Book said, he finished a perfect 15-0 at home as the starting quarterback, which ties the most wins at home by an Irish quarterback. 

"A dream come true just to be able to attend Notre Dame and have a good career," Book said. "To have this be my last home game and kind of step back for a second - never lost at home. It's really a team award, though. It's not an individual award. I'm just really thankful to be part of this special team." 

The California native is known for his competitive drive and famous flips, but it's Book's leadership that has allowed Notre Dame to step back into the spotlight as one of the elites of college football.

Notre Dame has become a gritty team that embraces the work, which defines the former three-star prospect and Book has led the Irish to two perfect regular seasons, including one during a pandemic.

"It shows this team has grit and it's tough," Book said of the undefeated regular season. "There was a time we didn't even know if we were going to play. We joined a conference, which no one has done at Notre Dame. A lot of unexpected things and this team never shied away. 

"We put in the work that was necessary and here we are undefeated as we join a conference heading into the ACC Championship Game. 

"It shows this team has grit, never gave up and never flinched. To have two undefeated seasons is doing what Coach Kelly has asked. He always says protect the house and we were able to do that. Just fight for every win. We've been down before, we've been up and this team never shies away. It's a special team and you don't always say that, but this team is special."

Book also knows his time in the blue and gold is coming to an end. He made sure to take in his final moments with his family and friends on Saturday night as he walked out off the field for the final time. 

"Bittersweet and definitely a little emotional, but I just took it all in," explained Book. "I took a step back and embraced everything. It's been an unbelievable journey. I remember my first day on campus and I'll never forget my last game in the stadium. 

"My family has been in my corner since I was born and they've always motivated me to work hard. It's unbelievable they could all be here tonight and I really appreciate them never missing a game other than the Boston College game. That's who I wanted here and they were able to make it. It makes that moment more special." 

But don't think Book is done. 

Book didn't shy away from his ultimate goal when asked how he wants to be remembered by Notre Dame fans. 

"I want to win a National Championship," said Book. "If you hear my name, that's what you would think of and we still have to go do that. That's what I want." 

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