Irish A-to-Z: Brandon Wimbush

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When Brandon Wimbush enrolled in school this summer, he became the latest blue-chip quarterback to join the Notre Dame football program with the burden of great expectations. The New Jersey state player of the year, Wimbush would be wise to forget about the prep accolades, instead focusing his efforts on learning the playbook, with the third-string quarterback closer to the field than you’d ideally want.

Blessed with elite speed and a powerful throwing arm, Wimbush has all the tools you’d ask for in a dual-threat quarterback prospect. But Wimbush’s on-field education, with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford serving as his professor, is only just starting. Learning the ABCs of the position while trying to harness the talents that make him an incredibly intriguing prospect, Wimbush’s Notre Dame journey begins now.

 

BRANDON WIMBUSH
6’1″ 216 lbs.
Freshman, No. 12, QB

 

RECRUITING PROFILE

Wimbush was a Top 100 player by any measurement, an Under Armour All-American, New Jersey’s player of the year, a first-team MaxPreps All-American, the Tri-State Player of the Year and a New Jersey State Champion. 

Wimbush was committed to Penn State but flipped to the Irish later in the process. He had offers from Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and Stanford among others.

 

FUTURE POTENTIAL

I’m not sure you could ask for a better upside than the one Wimbush possesses. He’s got elite speed, fast enough to be a wideout. He’s got arm strength that makes every throw in the playbook possible. And all reports point to a kid that’s a natural leader, a perfect addition to a recruiting class that’s proving itself to be very good.

Wimbush is raw, he’s still learning proper footwork and has spent training camp drilling in things that could be second nature to some more experienced quarterbacks (especially those that have been regulars on the summer camp scene). But from a raw materials perspective, Wimbush is everything you want in a QB recruit, probably Notre Dame’s best since signing Gunner Kiel, with some arguing Wimbush is a better prospect than the former five-star quarterback.

 

CRYSTAL BALL

In a perfect world, Wimbush stays on the sideline this season, saving a year of eligibility while remaining incredibly involved in the process. While some wondered how long it’d take Wimbush to overtake DeShone Kizer in the depth chart, the reality of the situation is that Kizer’s accuracy and advanced knowledge base make way more sense as a No. 2 than a promising freshman.

Of course, one injury to Malik Zaire could change all of that. And if Kizer slides into the starting lineup, you’ve got to think that Wimbush will be activated as well. It’d be logical for him to immediately get an offensive package, something that utilizes his speed and (after a healthy dose of the running game) would also allow him to throw over the top of a defense.

Brian Kelly’s preference is to always keep a redshirt on a freshman quarterback. He acknowledged that in the past and while he hasn’t specifically laid out his plans for Wimbush, it makes sense here, too. With Zaire on track to be the Irish quarterback for the next three seasons, the battle for the next quarterback job should be a very interesting one, especially with Kizer showing well this camp and 2017 quarterback Hunter Johnson still in the crosshairs.

 

THE 2015 IRISH A-to-Z
Josh Adams, RB
Josh Barajas, OLB
Nicky Baratti, S
Alex Bars, OL
Asmar Bilal, OLB
Hunter Bivin, OL
Grant Blankenship, DE
Jonathan Bonner, DE
Miles Boykin, WR
Justin Brent, WR
Greg Bryant, RB
Devin Butler, CB
Jimmy Byrne, OL
Daniel Cage, DL
Amir Carlisle, RB
Nick Coleman, DB
Te’von Coney, LB
Shaun Crawford, DB
Scott Daly, LS
Sheldon Day, DL
Michael Deeb, LB
Micah Dew-Treadway, DL
Steve Elmer, RG
Matthias Farley, DB
Nicco Fertitta, DB
Tarean Folston, RB
Will Fuller, WR
Jarrett Grace, LB
Jalen Guyton, WR
Mark Harrell, OL
Jay Hayes, DL
Mike Heuerman, TE
Kolin Hill, DE
Tristen Hoge, C
Corey Holmes, WR
Chase Hounshell, TE
Torii Hunter, Jr. WR
Alizé Jones, TE
Jarron Jones, DL
DeShone Kizer, QB
Tyler Luatua, TE
Cole Luke, CB
Nick Martin, C
Greer Martini, LB
Jacob Matuska, DL
Mike McGlinchey, OT
Colin McGovern, OL
Peter Mokwuah, DL
John Montelus, OL
Nyles Morgan, LB
Sam Mustipher, OL
Quenton Nelson, OL
Tyler Newsome, P
Romeo Okwara, DE
James Onwualu, LB
C.J. Prosise, WR/RB
Doug Randolph, LB/DE
Max Redfield, S
Corey Robinson, WR
Trevor Ruhland, OL
CJ Sanders, WR
Joe Schmidt, LB
Avery Sebastian, S
Elijah Shumate, S
Jaylon Smith, LB
Durham Smythe, TE
Equanimeous St. Brown, WR
Ronnie Stanley, LT
Elijah Taylor, DL
Brandon Tiassum, DL
Jerry Tillery, DL
Drue Tranquill, S
Andrew Trumbetti, DE
John Turner, S
Nick Watkins, CB
Nic Weishar, TE
Ashton White, CB
Dexter Williams, RB