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Riley Leonard Enters Portal, Notre Dame Likely in Good Position

Written by Liam Gaudet|Senior Editor|Twitter/X: @LiamGaudetIT

Photo by Duke Athletics


We have some breaking news this evening, as Duke starting quarterback Riley Leonard has announced that he has entered his name into the transfer portal. There were rumblings of Notre Dame possibly pursuing Leonard earlier this week, and there now appears to be some fuel to the fire. After Duke Head Coach Mike Elko announced that he would be leaving for the same position at Texas A&M, the writing was probably on the wall for the Blue Devil signal caller, and he will be providing his services for another University during the 2024 campaign.


We know at this point that Leonard has initiated a "do not contact" order (via Matt Freeman, ISD) which likely means that he has some ideas on where he wants to land. Marcus Freeman has already expressed his wish to evaluate the transfer portal as a viable option for a quarterback next season. It also seems that Riley Leonard has followed a decent amount of current Irish players on social media - take that for what you will. There seems to be a lot of journalists in the ND media space, including Tom Loy of 247, who are predicting that Leonard will end up at Notre Dame. For now, the two schools to pay attention to are Notre Dame and Auburn. Let's take a look at what Riley Leonard has to offer as a signal caller.





Coming in at 6'4, 212 pounds, Riley Leonard has the ideal frame to play the quarterback position. He has an absolute cannon of an arm, but at times can struggle with his accuracy which is a bit of a concern. One of Leonard's biggest assets is his surprising speed given his size. Leonard has been known to take off and turn broken plays into long runs, and does so on a regular basis. In his career at Duke, Leonard amassed 1,224 rushing yards, with an average of 5.3 yards per carry. Against the Irish this season, Leonard carried the ball 18 times for 88 yards, and was the main reason the Irish had to fight so hard to come away with a victory. As far as his passing statistics are concerned, Leonard has passed for 4,450 career yards with 24 touchdowns to 10 interceptions at Duke. His completion percentage sits at 61.8% for his career. If Leonard does end up in an Irish uniform, he would likely benefit from having a much more talented offensive line with more time to make reads and take off if needed. Leonard did get injured this season against Notre Dame, which kept him off the field for nearly half of the season. He lead the Blue Devils to a 4-0 start before being injured, and proceeded to lose back to back games to Florida State and Louisville when he returned.


It will be very interesting to see how the quarterback room shapes out if Leonard does decide to transfer to Notre Dame. Sitting in the room will be Steve Angeli, Kenny Minchey, and incoming freshman C.J. Carr. There's no telling if one of these quarterbacks decides to transfer or stick it out and fight for their spot. In all likelihood, it will probably be a three man race between Leonard, Angeli and Minchey heading into the spring if nobody transfers. Follow @TheIrishTribune on all social medias to stay updated as more information is released!




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