Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Book Grateful For MVP Award

December 8, 2018

It’s been a wild ride for Notre Dame, Notre Dame fans and Ian Book over the last four months as the junior quarterback was named team MVP on Friday night at The Echoes award banquet. 

As most know, Book didn’t start the year the starter and replaced Brandon Wimbush as the starter in week four with the Irish boasting a perfect 3-0 record, which I’m not sure many would have given the California native a great chance to win MVP after the Vanderbilt game. 

“It’s awesome,” stated Book. “I’m extremely thankful and honored to win the award. They played a video with Joe Montana and others. To get the same award as them is a dream come true. There’s just so many people who have helped me get to where I am today.” 

One of those people is head coach Brian Kelly, who decided to switch quarterbacks with a perfect record, but it might also be the extra time he has spent with Book and the team this season. 

“Just to be able to have a family atmosphere, it’s not all football,” said Book. “We can step back and enjoy each other’s company. I think it’s made a difference in the season.” 

From the top down, the Irish care about each other and play for each other according to its starting quarterback. 

“It’s a special group that loves each other,” stated Book. “We’re all friends off the field, and we play for each other.” 

There are close teams around the country, but the challenges of Notre Dame have brought each member of the team closer this season as each player has embraced it. 

“It’s difficult, but you know that when you come to Notre Dame,” Book explained. “You have to balance elite football with elite education, but that’s why we all come here - to challenge ourselves. At the end of the day, it’s fun and why we’re here.

“It’s all worth it when you get to go out and win football games on Saturday and get a degree from Notre Dame.” 

With that said, Book has also seen his life change as not only QB1 at Notre Dame but as QB1 of the playoff-bound Irish. 

“I try to make the most of it,” Book said. “To be in the spotlight is extremely fun. I came here to be the starter, and this is what comes with it. I feel fortunate to be in this spot.

“It’s all good stuff. Being able to go out and see more fans who recognize you. It’s awesome and part of the job. It’s fun. I like it.” 

Book may be stating the obvious as it’s definitely a good time when you go from backup to MVP in a matter of three months, but the fact the MVP award is voted on by the team means the world to him. 

“It’s about coming here and having a good time with the guys to finish the year off right,” said Book. “I’m thankful to get an award, and it’s a little more special to go up there and know it was voted on by your peers.” 

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