Washington State’s loss is Notre Dame’s gain, as the Irish accepted a commitment from California quarterback Ian Book on Tuesday. A former Mike Leach commitment who pledged to the Cougars back in April, the six-footer visited South Bend two weeks and gave his commitment to offensive coordinator and area recruiter Mike Sanford Tuesday evening.
Book gives the Irish a much-needed quarterback in the 2016 class, and with the departure of Everett Golson this offseason keeps Notre Dame’s roster “on schedule” at a position that is prone to attrition. And while Book’s three-star ranking and regional offer list has him lower on most recruiting service boards than quarterbacks the Irish usually recruit, one look at his game tape and you’ll see quickly why Sanford coveted him.
The commitment comes out of the blue, as most Irish fans were focusing on coveted 2017 recruit Hunter Johnson. Notre Dame looks to be in the final running for one of the elite junior prospects in the country, with the Irish locked in a battle with Tennessee for his pledge. Book joining the 2016 recruiting class does nothing to change Notre Dame’s interest in Johnson, nor should a quarterback in this recruiting class do anything to sway the mind of a five-star blue-chipper. (Per multiple reports, it won’t effect Notre Dame’s recruitment nor Johnson’s decision.)
In many ways, Book’s commitment is a fascinating look at Mike Sanford and how he envisions the quarterback position. While the Irish have chased high-ceiling prospects like Blake Barnett, Book’s game is already worlds more refined than the former five-star recruit, though his physical stature significantly lowers his overall ceiling. But if you’re looking for a quarterback who can run, shows the ability to throw timing routes in the framework of the offense and seems very accurate with the football, you should like the Irish’s future quarterback.
Book is Notre Dame’s 14th commitment in the 2016 class. He had interest from ASU, an offer from Boise State and UNLV as well.