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Notre Dame Football: Top 5 Fighting Irish Quarterbacks – Passing Yards

A data breakdown of the Irish’s top 5 passers in terms of passing yards over the last 30 years.

Michigan v Notre Dame Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

We find ourselves with the third installment of the 30-year Notre Dame quarterback review/Sam Hartman expectation setting series. This article focuses on highlighting the quarterbacks with the most passing yards.

So let’s check it out.

#1 - Brady Quinn (2005)

Brady Quinn’s 2005 season is the benchmark for Notre Dame quarterback performances over the last thirty years in a lot of ways. Quinn’s total passing yardage production during that season lands him at the tope of this list. Over 12 games, he racked up a total of 3,919 yards and averaged 327 yards a game. The yardage production came in spurts, with a season high of 487 in a Michigan State loss and a season low of 140 yards in a Michigan loss.

#2 - Jimmy Clausen (2009)

Jimmy Clausen’s passing production during the 2009 season earns him the #2 spot on this list. In his last season playing for the Irish, Clausen passed for a total of 3,722 yards and averaged 31- yards a game. He hit a season high of 452 passing yards in the loss to Navy and a season low of 171 yards in a win over Purdue. The 2009 season is one that I generally try to forget but even despite the devastating losses to Michigan, USC, Navy, Pitt, Connecticut and Stanford, Clausen’s statistical production during the outing can’t be denied.

#3 - Everett Golson (2014)

In 2014, Everett Golson tallied up 3,445 passing yards which earns him the #3 spot on this list. Similar to total completions, before the end of season drop off, Golson was on a much stronger trajectory. Through the season’s first 11 games passed for an average of 298 yards but after the USC and LSU outings, the full season average was drug down to 265 yards. Golson passed for a season high of 446 yards in loss to Arizona State and a season low of 75 yards in a loss to USC.

#4 - Brady Quinn (2006)

Brady Quinn also occupies the 4th spot on this list. In 2006, he passed for a total of 3,426 yards and averaged 264 yards per game. Consistency was the story of this campaign. Excluding the bowl game loss to LSU when Quinn passed for 148 yards, he never dropped below 200 yards per game.

#5 - Tommy Rees (2013)

Tommy Rees’ 3,257 total passing yards during the 2013 season puts him in the #5 spot on this list. Rees’ averaged 251 yards per game with a season high of 346 yards coming via a season opening win over Temple and a season low of 104 yard in a loss to Oklahoma. It was a bit of an up and down yardage season with some great highs and significant lows (looking at the Michigan State and Oklahoma matchups). But was that not the story of that era, particularly when Tommy was taking the snaps?

Final Thoughts

Sam Hartman’s passing yardage production with the Demon Deacons was all over the place. In 2018, he tallied up 1,984 yards but only was able to put up 830 yards in an abbreviated outing. Hartman put up his career high of 4,228 yards in 2021 but we’ll be getting coming off a 3,701 passing yard season in 2022. If he falls anywhere between his 2021 and 2022 production, I’m sure most of the Irish fandom will be grateful.

Cheers and Go Irish!