Notre Dame has found its quarterback for the 2024 season.
Former Duke quarterback Riley Leonard announced Tuesday that he was committing to Notre Dame. Leonard’s decision is no surprise. The Irish were mentioned as his likely destination as soon as he entered the transfer portal.
Leonard has been very solid in his two years as a starter at Duke, though his 2023 season was hampered by injuries. He was 95-of-165 passing for 1,102 yards and three TDs and three interceptions across seven games this season.
Coincidentally, Leonard’s injury-plagued 2023 began in a Sept. 30 loss to Notre Dame. Leonard went down late with an ankle injury and didn’t play again until a loss to Florida State on Oct. 21. Leonard then played one more game the rest of the season.
Leonard was much better during his healthy sophomore season in 2022. He was 250-of-392 passing for 2,967 yards and 20 TDs with six interceptions. He also rushed 124 times for 699 yards and 13 TDs.
Leonard’s transfer marks the second straight season Notre Dame has grabbed an ACC starter from the transfer portal. One of Marcus Freeman’s first moves as Notre Dame’s coach early in 2022 was to sign Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman. The former Demon Deacon threw for nearly 2,700 yards and 24 TDs as Notre Dame went 9-3 in 2023.
Hartman came to Notre Dame with one season of eligibility remaining. Leonard also has a season of eligibility remaining after signing with Duke ahead of the 2021 season and playing in seven games before starting all 13 in 2022.
Hartman has opted out of the Sun Bowl against Oregon State to prep for the NFL draft. Steve Angeli will start in his place in El Paso.