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Notre Dame Football: One Thought for USC - Brandon Wimbush Edition

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What Do You Make of Wimbush’s “New” role?

Notre Dame v Syracuse Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Thought

As the Notre Dame Fighting Irish head into their matchup against the USC Trojans with a (seemingly) healthy Ian Book, one player suddenly has me very intrigued. Enter former starting quarterback and current backup/running back?.....Brandon Wimbush.

Wimbush, who is one of the best running quarterbacks to ever play for the Irish, came into the game vs. the Syracuse Orange in a split back set, and took two handoffs from the running back position. These two plays sparked an internal debate that began last week by my main article correspondent and dad, Arnie Gough. We were discussing the success of Ian Book in this offense, but ultimately wondering where Wimbush would end up and what position he may end up playing after this season. He clearly will have options to play quarterback somewhere at the division 1 level next year, though his intent to potentially play in the NFL could have a big impact on that decision.

Brian Kelly’s decision to integrate him into this offense in a non quarterback capacity had me debating the following reasoning as to why he is playing.

-They want Wimbush to stick around next year and are showing him they are serious by giving him meaningful carries this year.

The thought of moving Wimbush to running back, with an entire Spring to make the transition, would be an interesting opportunity. Wimbush has more them demonstrated his ability to run, though he has always been held back by the fact that he needed to protect himself because he was QB1. There is also no dominant back coming back next year, with Dexter Williams heading for the NFL. This opportunity could allow Wimbush to reinvent himself as a player, and potentially get an opportunity to play at the next level, even if it is as a Running Back. I do not think he will make enough strides in his accuracy if he plays QB somewhere else to have a legitimate shot as a passer. He might as well try to use his skillset as a runner to try and get there at another position. Additionally, Notre Dame should absolutely want him back next year in any capacity because at the very least you have an experienced player who could step back into a quarterback role if Book gets hurt/Phil Jurkovec isn’t ready. I am all in favor of bringing him back in an attempt to make a position switch. This is something Brian Kelly will definitely pitch to Wimbush, and showed he is serious by getting him meaningful carries late in the season.

- Brian Kelly wanted to show packages where Brandon Wimbush looks like a running back to keep the door open for trick plays for USC/Post- Season play.

Giving Wimbush the ball and making him look like a running back will keep some defenses honest when he is in the game. They may expect trick plays and play off of the run, giving more room for the running game, or commit to the run and allow Wimbush the opportunity to pull up and throw the ball. Either way, this presents some definite confusion for a defense and makes them spend extra time adding him to their game plan.

What do you think?

Poll

Why is Wimbush Getting Reps at RB?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    They want him to play RB next year
    (352 votes)
  • 54%
    Gimmicks/Confusing Defenses
    (461 votes)
  • 3%
    Other-Comment below!
    (30 votes)
843 votes total Vote Now

Regardless, it has been cool to see the support for Wimbush this year, as he is a guy that clearly has the respect of his coaches and teammates. His development will not only be interesting over the next few weeks, but also heading into the off season. Also, here is Wimbush rushing for over 200 yards in a game last year.