ARLINGTON, Texas (WNDU) - Both Notre Dame and Clemson made quarterback changes this season that propelled them to the College Football Playoff.
For the Irish, Ian Book replaced Brandon Wimbush while true freshman Trevor Lawrence took over for Kelly Bryant at Clemson.
Despite the parallels between the two quarterback situations, they are drastically different. And for the Irish, it shows the teams true colors.
The battle between Book and Wimbush wasn’t the typical quarterback controversy in South Bend.
“I think there are different circumstances when you make changes at quarterback. Sometimes it’s more delicate than others. This was not a delicate situation. Both of them were well respected. Both of them handled themselves in such a manner that I think our team trusted whoever was the signal caller. I think that was pretty evident in the way that we played.”
But perhaps no one trusts each other more than Book and Wimbush.
"He’s a great friend of mine on and off the field," Book said. "We’ll go down and do a drive on offense, I’ll come off and he’ll be able to see some things I didn’t out there. Just being able to get his perspective helps me a ton. He’s always got some good advice and this season, this whole season he’s always been there for me.”
Their teammates say the quarterbacks encouragement to one another is what being a Notre Dame football player is all about.
“Brandon [Wimbush] and Ian [Book] support each other wholeheartedly," Irish center Sam Mustipher said. "They want each other to succeed and it’s something special. I also think it’s also a combination of the type of guy you recruit at Notre Dame.”
Wimbush is 100-percent loyal to the Irish. Despite taking the back seat to Book, Wimbush stays positive and abides to the Notre Dame standard.
“I came here to win a National Championship and graduate from the University of Notre Dame," Wimbush said. "That’s our standard of excellence here at Notre Dame and I’m fully bought in on that. Our next goal is to win the National Championship and that’s why I’m here. I’m sticking with my guys throughout this playoff.”
After the playoff, it is expected that Wimbush will transfer from Notre Dame to pursue an opportunity to play quarterback elsewhere. Until then, he’s got Book’s back no matter what.