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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame QB Steve Angeli Embraced Accelerated Learning in 2022

December 20, 2022
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Steve Angeli’s freshman year accelerated from 0-60 in a matter of weeks. 

The freshman quarterback went from playing CJ Stroud on scout team to being one play away from getting his first collegiate action less than eight quarters into the fall. 

Tyler Buchner’s shoulder injury wasn’t a short-term issue, so the New Jersey native knew he had to change his game plan in how he went about his week.

“I took a deep dive into the playbook and got back into re-learning what we do on our side of the ball,” explained Angeli. “I spent extra hours with the GAs and Coach Rees trying to get back into it. Not too much of an adjustment because I was continuing to grow (on scout team).” 

Angeli played in just two games, but the opportunity to learn on varsity was priceless as he was able to learn the ins and outs of Notre Dame’s offense while also taking meaningful practice reps. 

“Instead of running other teams plays and prepping the defense playing on scout, being able to run our plays and operate our offense was huge for my development,” Angeli said. 

Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees was impressed with Angeli’s confidence and demeanor as a great deal was thrown on his plate early into his career. Rees also made it clear Angeli’s physical talents showed out over the fall. 

”I think it starts with the demeanor of the kid,” explained  He’s got a little bit of quiet swagger to him. A confidence with which he plays. He’s pretty natural with movements and how the ball comes out of his hand. He’s innately accurate. 

“The skill set is natural. It’s easy, it’s smooth. But the personality of the kid: there’s some confidence there that when he steps on the field he knows he can go make some plays and make some throws. When he gets rolling I think he’s going to be a good player for us.”

Accuracy has always been a significant part of Angeli’s game as he completed 116-of-170 passes for 1,709 yards, 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions in his final season at Bergen Catholic. 

And while Angeli didn’t admit it, he’s probably not surprised Rees highlighted accuracy as a part of his game that stands out. 

“I think accuracy is the thing that is totally controllable and you can work on,” Angeli explained. “Being an accurate passer is one of the most important things. If you’re able to put the ball there and on time and allow your receivers to make a play is one of the best things you can do. I continue to work on it and there are always ways to improve your accuracy.” 

Off the field, Angeli quickly learned watching film is much different at the college level, especially for a quarterback. 

“There are so many details that you don’t know until you get inside the room and you see so many little things that go on that make this whole operation work,” stated Angeli. “It takes all 11 to do their job and everybody has to execute the right way in order for us to detail it up and do the right thing.

“When you’re in the film room and you’re focusing on line play or coverage or different schemes and how we can attack them, I think that’s really the big difference from when I came in learning how to watch film. You have to learn what you’re looking for.” 

It’s not to say Angeli wouldn’t have spent hours in the film room if he didn’t get elevated to backup, but the former four-star prospect feels his mental game has taken off due to the time he’s spent watching the tape. 

“I would definitely say my football IQ and mentality,” said Angeli. “Spending hours in the film room with Drew, taking more mental reps, it’s been huge for my development. I think I’ve really grown there.”

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