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The Case for Steve Angeli

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

Photo by The Irish Tribune


Coming into the season, the hype surrounding Sam Hartman was palpable. In what was most likely the highest profile transfer in program history, Notre Dame was gaining national buzz for what was thought to be their missing piece that would carry them to heights unforeseen since 1988. The sad reality hit like a locomotive, however, as the Irish managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory multiple times this season, and are staring down the barrel of an 8-3 record. Sam Hartman, though possessing more talent than quarterbacks of the last half-decade, had failed to reach the sky-high expectations set by a fanbase starving for a glimmer of national notoriety. It has now reached the point where the fanbase has begun to turn the page toward next season, a new opportunity with fresh faces and perhaps more favorable results. Of course, no bigger question mark exists than the signal caller role which has garnered much debate over social media. I've seen takes from all sides of the fanbase, the journalists, and the talking heads, and I have to say - I'm legitimately surprised. C.J Carr this, Kenny Minchey that... aren't you all forgetting somebody? Steve Angeli seems to be some sort of egregious afterthought from what I've seen from all corners of this fanbase. Today, I'd like to make the case that not only is he capable of being the starter for the Irish in 2024 - he may be ready now.





Starting with what we know - Marcus Freeman has already expressed his willingness to seek out a potential suitor via the transfer portal earlier last week. Many fans thought that Utah quarterback Cam Rising would be a name to watch heading into the offseason, however, with his recent announcement that he would be returning to the Utes for his 7th collegiate season, that option is out of the cards. Now, obviously it's still very early in terms of feeling out the portal, but you have to wonder whether Notre Dame would be able to bring in a quarterback with game-changing pedigree like Sam Hartman. Obviously, Hartman didn't pan out the way everyone thought he would, but even finding a quarterback of that caliber that checks all of the boxes for Notre Dame is slim to none, and should not be expected. Does that mean the transfer portal is off the table? Absolutely not. I can see this staff bringing on a veteran to challenge the underclassmen, I just don't expect lightning to strike twice, which leaves the door open for someone in the room to step up and take the job.


Forgetting about the portal for now and focusing on the in-house talent, that leaves the Irish with three viable options. Steve Angeli, Kenny Minchey, and incoming freshman C.J. Carr. I'd like to take a look at each of these options and try and explain exactly why I think Angeli should be the favorite to win the room next season.





Let's start with the man himself, Steve Angeli. Coming out of Bergen Catholic in the class of 2021, Angeli was ranked the 365th best player nationally by 247 Sports' composite ranking system. Immediately, I can see people rolling their eyes, as if what these recruiting sites have to say is the immediate gospel and truth of what Angeli is capable of. What people often overlook is the fact that Angeli possessed offers from schools like Ohio State, Oregon, LSU, Penn State and Michigan. Those aren't schools who offer just anybody, and should carry some weight when considering that talent evaluators from all these programs believed that Angeli could play football on scholarship at those programs. Outside of his high school evaluations, Angeli possesses an ideal frame for a collegiate quarterback. Standing at 6'3 with a stocky build, Angeli's frame is college ready after two seasons in the program. In fact, you might have argued that he was college ready if you watched the Blue-Gold game prior to the start of the 2022 season, where he was easily the most efficient quarterback on the roster, and showcased his mobility and accuracy as a freshman on the biggest stage of his career up to that point. That is the perfect segway into another category in which Angeli would have the upper hand in - experience. Although he has seen modest playing time over the last few seasons, there is absolutely no doubt that he's made the most out of it. In relief this season, Angeli has completed 19 of his 24 passing attempts for 272 yards and four touchdowns. It should be noted that while doing so, he was playing with non-starters most of the time. Angeli has also not taken a sack or thrown an interception in his time on the field as well. As far as the eye test goes, Angeli seems incredibly comfortable in the pocket for someone with little game experience. I think what impressed me the most is how agile he seems as 6'3, as he has been able to maneuver himself quite well outside of the pocket, even making an extremely impressive off-platform touchdown pass in mop-up duty against Pitt. Do we have the biggest sample size with Angeli? No. Is the talent there? I believe it is. I'm confident with one more offseason in the program (and possibly a new offensive coordinator), Steve Angeli is more than capable of running this offense at more than just a game-managing level.


Let's take a quick look a Kenny Minchey, who a lot of people believe will be the favorite to win the room if the Irish don't reach into the portal. There isn't a lot we can say right now, as Minchey hasn't really seen prolonged action this season. What I will say is that Minchey would more than likely have the upper hand when it comes to pure arm talent. After watching a lot of film on Minchey, he has one of the quickest releases I've seen in some time for a Notre Dame quarterback. If Minchey really grows this spring and into fall, there's definitely a possibility of him grabbing the starting role. For now though, I just haven't seen enough of Minchey against collegiate competition to convince me that he's more ready than Angeli is right now. That could definitely change, and I'm not writing him off.





Finally, the prospect everyone has been losing sleep over since last summer - the offspring of a Michigan legend, C.J. Carr. Remember earlier when I mentioned putting the recruiting bias aside? I'd like to advocate for some parity in the opposite direction, because if you just evaluate the player, and not the recruiting ranking, you may tend to think it's too early for Carr to see action. That's absolutely no knock on Carr's talent either, I think in time he will be the real deal. For next year, though, it's probably too soon. Carr plans to enroll early at Notre Dame, but even with a few extra months I have a hard time buying the fact that he's going to be the starter come game time at College Station. Carr is a tall prospect with a fluid throwing motion, and showcases plenty of accuracy throughout camps, and at Saline high school. Although his numbers may not blow you away, he shows great poise and feel, which will translate well at the next level. Like most quarterbacks coming out of high school, Carr is incredibly raw, and will likely have to hone his skills for a year or two under Gino Guidugli. It may also be an asset to not throw Carr to the wolves in his first season and shatter his confidence as a passer. Carr will shine at Notre Dame, but it's unlikely he will as a freshman.


So here we are. I've laid out my thoughts, and would love to hear yours. Will it be Angeli, Carr, Minchey, or a transfer? Time will tell, but I believe where we stand at this moment, the answer should be clear. As always, Go Irish!


3 Comments


Guest
Nov 25, 2023

Test.

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Guest
Nov 23, 2023

No transfer portal for Qb please. If MF trusts the recruits than start developing them. I think Angeli is ready. Relying on TP for QB 3 years in a row is not how to build a progra.

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Guest
Nov 22, 2023

Angeli is the man. Don't drive him off with a portal transfer. Minchey has a great arm, but probably needs 1 more year to mature. Carr needs seasoning as he didn't play the greatest of competition this year. Think with time will be very good. Could use a 4th quarterback who knows from the get go the position will have to be earned.

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