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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Confident in QB Steve Angeli Heading Into Sun Bowl

December 28, 2023
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It’s been over two years since quarterback Steve Angeli made his last start. 

The 6-foot-2, 211-pounder completed 9-of-14 passes for 100 yards and one score as Bergen Catholic (N.J.) completed a perfect 12-0 season by beating Don Bosco Prep 28-7. 

Angeli will make his first collegiate start on Friday against No. 19 Oregon State and while the Irish offense will miss several starters, No. 16 Notre Dame couldn’t be more confident in him heading into the Sun Bowl. 

”He’s never started before, so he doesn’t know any different,” stated quarterbacks coach and interim offensive coordinator Gino Guidugli. “It’s not like he had a chance to go out there and play with the starters, so those are the guys he’s been practicing with. Those guys are going to be equally excited. This means a lot to those guys who are having their first opportunity to start. 

“I don’t think Steve’s thinking about who is playing in front of him or outside. I think he’s worried about him going in and making sure he’s executing the game plan.” 

Guidugli makes a valid point in that Angeli should be familiar with the personnel around him, given he worked with most of Friday’s starters on Notre Dame’s second team throughout the year. 

Sophomore running back Jadarian Price, who is also Angeli’s roommate, has seen his teammate and friend grow in confidence, but also comfort over the last 12 games. 

“I think he’s become a lot more confident since our opening game against Navy,” Price said. “He’s been in a lot of games since we’ve been blowing out a couple teams. You can just see the confidence in his eyes, his cadence and all that.

“I’ve seen that in practice when we break the huddle. He’s speaking a lot more. He’s speaking to all the position groups a lot more. We’re all very confident in him.” 

Angeli’s confidence in his teammates could prove to be important as that extra boost of belief is only more helpful to two new offensive tackles blocking for running backs taking on a larger role and a limited receiving corps. 

“I’m fully confident in everyone who is around me with Gino and the new guys on the offensive line,” Angeli said. “They’ve been doing a great job throughout bowl prep and I’m excited to see when it’s live.” 

The other piece to the puzzle is that Guidugli will call plays for the first time since arriving in South Bend. 

It’s not a new role for the former Cincinnati quarterback as Guidguli called plays for the Bearcats in 2022. 

“We have pretty much a whole new team,” laughed tight end Eli Raridon. “It’s been weird with the offense with a lot of guys who are new faces. The players and coaches have done a great job with all the distractions and keeping focused to get our work done. I feel really confident with where we are right now.

“It’s a big deal when our OC leaves. He’s done a great job of not panicking and stepping in where Gerad Parker was. He’s done a great job of filling in.” 

Perhaps the biggest adjustment for anyone is the fact Angeli all of a sudden went from a young guy trying to find his way and learn behind older quarterbacks to being the oldest signal-caller on campus in a matter of days. 

“It’s crazy,” Angeli stated. “If you would have told me that a couple months ago or a year ago, I’d say I don’t know about that. It’s good. It’s helped me grow into the position as more of a leader and more as a mentor to these guys like Sam was for me and the guys who were here before, to teach them how to be a Notre Dame quarterback.” 

And while all the talk will be about Notre Dame’s youth, Angeli is simply focused on doing what it takes to get Notre Dame to the 10-win mark. 

“It means everything,” said Angeli. “We’re on a mission to get 10 wins and win the Sun Bowl. That’s all that’s on my mind is get a win and represent the university the right way.” 

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