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Angeli or Minchey? Breaking Down the Quarterback Room Behind Hartman

By: Connor D'Aquila ⏐ Writer ⏐ Twitter:@ConnorDaquilaIT

Photo by Chad Weaver


With the blowout win last weekend, we had our first chance to see the two young quarterbacks on Notre Dame’s roster in a real game environment. Granted the competition was not what they will be seeing moving forward, both Steve Angeli and Kenny Minchey gave reason for optimism this weekend. Angeli went 8/11 for 130 yards and two touchdowns on three drives. Minchey went 2/2 for 12 yards on one possession. Kenny’s time on the field was brief, but seeing both of them out there begs the question of what this room will look like after Sam Hartman and into the future. CJ Carr arrives next year, but he will be very young, and if an injury happens this year, Minchey and Angeli are the options. We’ll compare the two below.


Out of High School

Steve was the slightly lower-ranked player coming out of high school, but neither of these guys was a bad prospect by any means. According to the 247 Sports Composite ranking, Angeli was a four-star, the number 365 player in the country, the number 21 quarterback, and the fourth-best player in the state of New Jersey. Minchey, on the other hand, also came in as a four-star, ranked number 168 overall, the 14th-best quarterback, and the number three player in the state of Tennessee. He was a huge get for the Irish after key recruiting losses, including five-star Dante Moore. If you watch his high school film, the hype is very understandable. Kenny throws a beautiful ball and would sling it all over the field in high school. A shoulder injury derailed his senior season, but in his junior year, he finished with 3,280 passing yards, 32 touchdowns, and nine interceptions on a 61% completion percentage. He was also named to the Elite 11 after a stellar performance at the prestigious camp. Angeli’s high school performance is a little tougher to judge, as he played in a run-first offense and had his senior season shortened by COVID. He did, however, throw for 919 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions with a 59% completion rate in only six games in his final year. Watching his film shows a quarterback with a strong pocket presence and great accuracy. While the ball didn’t jump out of his hand as much as it did for Minchey, the arm is still there. He also was noted to have a strong regional performance at Elite 11, but was not invited to the final. Minchey definitely has the edge in terms of high school, but both were solid prospects.


Photo via 247 Sports


Practice Analysis

Most people came out of fall camp relatively optimistic about the options behind starter Sam Hartman. Quarterbacks coach Gino Guidugli also raved about the competition and performance between the two potential backups. The major theme seems to be that Angeli has gained a lot of confidence as his experience continues to grow with the offense and with the team. He was limited last season, and there was a question as to whether he could run the offense had he been called on. That is not the case this year. While access to practice is limited, most reports indicate that he was making a lot of throws and seemed to be gaining the trust of the receivers. The limited film that exists also shows a confident quarterback throwing well. It’s also hard to ignore his size when you see him in practice next to Minchey and even Hartman. As for Kenny, he’s a true freshman and that transition is always going to be difficult. Two major themes seem to dominate all talk about him, though. One is that he throws a beautiful ball, much like he did in high school. Watching practice clips, it continues to jump out of his hand despite the injury troubles he had last year. He also seems to have a great relationship with the other freshmen, which has allowed for a lot of early success. Here, the edge clearly goes to Angeli. There’s a reason he has been named QB2, and he certainly earned it.


Photo by Chad Weaver


Game Time

This will focus mainly on Steve, as we just got a chance to watch him for a little over a quarter of football. The stat line listed above is certainly impressive for it being his first true experience under center at the college level. I will say, however, that the film shows some areas for continued improvement. Much of the offense during his time was heavily reliant on the screen game and that talented running back room tore off some huge gains that helped his stats. Over time, he did begin to settle in, show some more confidence, and start looking downfield a bit more. There were also some major miscues from the offensive line that forced him to rush at times. One throw had the potential to be a long play to Rico Flores, but a huge quarterback hit after Spindler and Correll completely missed a block forced the ball short. The biggest surprise was his escapability. The most notable play was a touchdown to Jadarian Price that easily could have been a sack, but Steve spun out of pressure and made an accurate short throw on the run. With the questionable offensive line play, he did this a few times, which was very impressive. In Kenny’s one drive, the nerves were evident, but it was great to see the crowd and Hartman try to instill some confidence in him. They didn’t give him much of an opportunity to prove himself, but at the very least, he was able to make the short throws he needed to and there were no major miscues while he was in. Once again, the edge here will go to Angeli, but that’s more due to a lack of opportunity for Minchey than anything else.


Steve is definitely the QB2 right now and for the foreseeable future, but I would not write off Minchey to either make a run at it this year or compete for a starting job next year. The talent he has is very impressive, and if he can adapt to the college game, Notre Dame could have a special player on their hands. Hopefully, he gets more game time moving forward, but this battle will be interesting to watch in the future.



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