Can Riley Leonard provide the answer Notre Dame is looking for at QB?
Landing Leonard on short notice was huge, giving the Irish a shot in the arm as they look to make the 12-team Playoff in 2024.
Notre Dame goes into bowl season with the second-highest scoring offense in school history. It also goes into bowl season with an offensive coordinator under fire.
The Irish will enter the 2024 opener at Texas A&M in prime Playoff-or-bust mode, given the talent on its roster and the expanded postseason field. Said roster will also open the campaign with at least eight new offensive starters from its 2023 opener.
The Irish will take on the Aggies with a quarterback who was among the biggest free agents in the sport this cycle. That quarterback also threw as many interceptions as touchdown passes in 2023.
If you have kept up this far, then congrats: You are officially in tune with college football in the year 2023.
So, too, is Notre Dame.
That’s perhaps the biggest takeaway from Tuesday’s announcement of Riley Leonard committing to Notre Dame.
Landing Leonard is noteworthy on its own. Landing him one year after landing Sam Hartman shows that the Irish mean business.
And landing Leonard while a number of other Power 5 starting quarterbacks remain on the market is the surest sign yet that this staff and administration has its stuff together and is approaching the 12-team Playoff field as a need-to goal, not a want-to goal.