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TRANSFER PORTAL: Duke quarterback Riley Leonard commits to Notre Dame

Another ACC QB finds its way to a South Bend apartment

Notre Dame v Duke Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

On Tuesday, former Duke Blue Devils quarterback Riley Leonard publicly announced his commitment to transfer to Notre Dame to play football for the Irish in the 2024 season.

For weeks, fans and media alike have been expecting Riley Leonard to eventually end up with the Fighting Irish, and the wait is finally at an end.

For the second year in a row, the Irish are dipping into North Carolina to grab an ACC quarterback to start for them in the next season. While some say this is an unsustainable process for Notre Dame, Marcus Freeman is mandated to put the best roster on the field that he possibly can each year. The lesson he learned in 2022 in which the Irish passed on the portal (after a season with transfer Jack Coan) made a huge impression. Notre Dame’s struggles in 2022 had a lot to do with QB play, and the combo of Tyler Buchner and Drew Pyne was definitely not going to get the job done (both of whom will be college students next year but not college football players).

This is an exciting day for Notre Dame and fans of the program, but Leonard was never a player that was really feared by some of us on this site (or the podcast). While he is a really nice athlete, there are still plenty of concerns when it comes to the passing game. As strong as those opinions were (and currently are), I’m not going to write him off as a JAG just yet. Even if he is a JAG, he’s still likely the best option for Notre Dame in 2024.

Notre Dame’s offensive line will take a big hit on the roster for 2024, so his ability to make plays happen with his feet is certainly a fantastic tool to have on his belt. The Irish will need much better WR play in 2024, and they plan to get that with continued development of the talent on hand — and they are being very aggressive in the transfer portal.

In the end, I still feel like this is the best option for the Irish in 2024, and am very excited to see what may come of all of this.

Welcome to South Bend, Riley.

2024 Notre Dame Football Scholarship Chart

Position / Year Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior 5th/6th Year
Position / Year Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior 5th/6th Year
Quarterback C.J. Carr Kenny Minchey Steve Angeli Riley Leonard -
Running Back Aneyas Williams, Kedren Young Jerimiyah Love Jadarian Price, Gi'Bran Payne - Devyn Ford
Tight End Jack Larsen Cooper Flanagan Eli Raridon Mitchell Evans, Kevin Bauman, Davis Sherwood -
Wide Receiver Cam Williams, Micah Gilbert, Logan Saldate Jaden Greathouse, Kaleb Smith, Jordan Faison - Deion Colzie, Jayden Thomas Kris Mitchell, Beaux Collins, Jayden Harrison
Center - - Ashton Craig - -
Guard - Sam Pendleton, Joe Otting, Chris Terek Billy Schrauth Rocco Spindler, Pat Coogan -
Tackle Peter Jones, Anthonie Knapp, Styles Prescod, Guerby Lambert Sullivan Absher, Charles Jagusah Ty Chan, Aamil Wagner - Tosh Baker
Defensive Tackle Sean Sevillano Devan Houstan, Armel Mukam, Brenan Vernon Tyson Ford, Donovan Hinish Jason Onye Howard Cross, Rylie Mills
Defensive End Cole Mullins, Bryce Young, Loghan Thomas Boubacar Traore Joshua Burnham, Aiden Gobaira, Junior Tuihalamaka Kahanu Kia Jordan Botelho, RJ Oben
Linebacker Teddy Rezac, Bodie Kahoun, Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa Drayk Bowen, Preston Zinter, Jaiden Ausberry Jaylen Sneed - Jack Kiser
Safety Kennedy Urlacher, Taebron Bennie-Powell, Brauntae Johnson Adon Shuler, Ben Minich - - Xavier Watts, Jordan Clark, Rod Heard
Cornerback Karson Hobbs, Leonard Moore Micah Bell, Christian Gray Jayden Mickey, Benjamin Morrison Chance Tucker Clarence Lewis
Specialists - - Bryce McFerson (P) - Mitch Jeter (K)
Totals 23/85 (23) 45/85 (22) 62/85 (17) 73/85 (11) 88/85 (15)