SOUTH BEND – His tenure with the team already includes three double-digit win seasons, two bowl victories, and one trip to the College Football Playoff.
Yet without a national championship and with another year of eligibility remaining, Ian Book found plenty of reasons to return to Notre Dame for one more season.
Following their 33-9 victory over Iowa State in the Camping World Bowl this weekend, the Irish quarterback announced on Instagram that he’d return to the Irish for the 2020 season. Book has one more year of eligibility remaining since he didn’t play in his true freshman season of 2016.
In his third season where he saw significant playing time, the quarterback was at his best for the Irish over the course of 13 games. Book threw for 3,039 yards with 34 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions and was particularly strong in his final four games of the season.
In the four victories over Navy, Boston College, Stanford, and Iowa, Book had 13 touchdowns without an interception with 1,025 yards passing. It came after a three-game stretch where Book had four interceptions and was pulled in the second half in a loss to Michigan after going 8-for-25 passing for just 73 yards.
The quarterback also rushed for 546 yards (4.9 per carry) and four touchdowns on the season.
Book won’t have one of his favorite targets next season as Chase Claypool (66 catches, 13 touchdowns) likely heads to the NFL. Chris Finke (41 catches, 4 touchdowns) is also gone, but tight end and Barrington native Cole Kmet does return after a 43-catch, six-touchdown season in 2019.
Running back Tony Jones Jr. (857 yards, 6 per carry, 6 touchdowns) has a year of eligibility remaining but may opt for the NFL Draft.
But at least Book is back for Brian Kelly as he enters his second decade leading Notre Dame football, with the hopes that a three-decade championship drought may finally come to an end in 2020.