Phil Jurkovec

Notre Dame’s Phil Jurkovec (15) scrambles against Boston College Nov. 23, 2019 at Notre Dame Stadium.

Quarterback Phil Jurkovec already made his backup plan.

The Notre Dame sophomore committed to transferring to Boston College on Saturday, according to a report from Andy Backstrom of The Heights, Boston College’s student newspaper.

Jurkovec visited Boston College’s campus this weekend after entering his name in the NCAA’s transfer portal earlier in the week. Jurkovec did not immediately respond to the Tribune on Saturday after he retweeted a post from Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley that appeared to be a commitment celebration.

The 6-foot-5, 227-pound Jurkovec opted to leave Notre Dame rather than sit behind starting quarterback Ian Book for a third season. Jurkovec used only one year of eligibility with the Irish by playing in seven games as a sophomore last season. Jurkovec will have three years of NCAA eligibility available at Boston College, but unless he receives a transfer waiver to play immediately, one of those years will be exhausted while sitting out the 2020 season.

If Jurkovec completes his eligibility at Boston College, that would put him in line for a Notre Dame reunion when the Irish host the Eagles in 2022.

Jurkovec leaves Notre Dame with unfulfilled expectations. On the day Jurkovec signed with Notre Dame in December 2017, Irish head coach Brian Kelly called Jurkovec the best quarterback in the country.

“He’s somebody that I could put up against any quarterback that I’ve ever seen,” Kelly said that day.

Jurkovec finished his high school career at Gibsonia (Pa.) Pine-Richland, just outside of Pittsburgh, with a 16-0 record and a PIAA Class 6A state championship. In 34 games as the starter for Pine-Richland, Jurkovec amassed 8,202 passing yards, 2,942 rushing yards, 71 passing touchdowns and 43 rushing touchdowns.

Rivals ranked Jurkovec as the No. 5 dual-threat quarterback and No. 87 overall in the 2018 recruiting class. 247Sports slated him as the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback and No. 115 overall. Both rated him as a four-star recruit.

But Kelly never found it necessary to give Jurkovec playing time in high-leverage situations in his two seasons at Notre Dame as the Irish compiled a 23-3 record combined in 2018 and 2019. The starting quarterback job belonged to Book, and Jurkovec only entered games late in blowouts. Jurkovec completed 12 of his 16 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 22 times for 156 yards in action against New Mexico, Bowling Green, Michigan, Duke, Navy, Boston College and Iowa State last season.

At Boston College, Jurkovec will join a quarterback group lacking star power. Anthony Brown, who started 28 games in three seasons before a season-ending leg injury in the sixth game of 2019, entered the transfer portal in December. Redshirt sophomore Dennis Grosel, a former walk-on, ended last season as Boston College’s starting quarterback. He finished 75-of-155 passing (48 percent) for 983 yards and nine touchdowns with three interceptions after starting seven games.

The 2019 Boston College roster also included redshirt freshman Matt Valecce, and true freshmen Sam Johnson III and Daelen Menard at quarterback. None of them, including Brown, received higher than a three-star rating from Rivals or 247Sports.

Boston College fired head coach Steve Addazio in December after seven seasons. The Eagles replaced him with Hafley, the former co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State. Boston College recently hired Frank Cignetti Jr. as its new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Cignetti, a Pittsburgh native, worked as the quarterbacks coach for the St. Louis Rams, New York Giants and Green Bay Packers in recent years. Hafley, who worked at Pitt from 2006-10, also has NFL assistant coaching experience.

They’ll be tasked with helping Jurkovec reach the potential that so many, including Kelly, once saw in him.

tjames@ndinsider.com

574-235-6214

Twitter: @TJamesNDI

(11) comments

ClementstoWeber

Not a good look for Coach Kelly because it makes no sense for Jurkovek unless he, somehow, doesn't have to sit next year. Disappointing all the way around!

ClementstoWeber

Sorry....Jurkovec with a "c". Good luck, kid!

JackMBA

Jurkovec had offers from Alabama and Clemson and deserves to play. somewhere. Phil's deep pass against Navy was spectacular!!!

JackMBA

Jurkoved had offers from Alabama and Clemson and deserves to play somewhere. Phil's deep pass against Navy was spectacular!!

Tom M

Good luck to him. I think his performance in the B&G game really hurt him with the coaching staff.

sts2f

This was one the reasons why I completely lost faith and support for Kelly. You don't say the things he said about Jurkovec when he was signing to a complete 180 and then say he doesn't offer the team the best chance to win. Two things: 1.) they changed his entire throwing motion which led to the disastrous B&G game showing only to change it back. Then lose faith in him because of that showing. Ridiculous. 2.) EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Kelly had the chance to put PJ in when the team was up 20+ in the fourth, he'd keep Book in for one extra series and when PJ did come in he rarely called any passing plays to let the kid get his feet underneath him. Just absolutely atrocious coaching/development.

PAIRISH9

First of All, the signing day stuff was all "coach speak", Jurkovec was/is a very good QB but he was absolutely not better that Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields in that recruiting class. Everybody always thinks they Know what a coach should or shouldn't do with a player. I wish him best of luck and truly hope he has a great finish to his college career, but to simply think he got a "raw deal" in South Bend is not fair. Ian Book is the better QB right now and to anyone who truly pays attention it's not close. To the point about not letting Phil throw enough? You can't be throwing the ball all over the lot with a 52 point lead. Some schools feel the need to do that, I hope the Staff at Notre Dame never feels the need to do that.

OverAll

given his horrible track record developing quarterbacks, I think it’s totally fair. You can’t have it both ways. Either Kelly wanted book in there (even though his ceiling is significantly lower than Jurkovec’s), or they failed to develop Jurkovec. Which is it?

when book was playing like garbage (mostly the whole season up to the last drive in the VTech game) he barely played. there’s no excuse for not playing him when the starter is playing badly, except that you were unable to get him ready. that’s literally the job of the backup quarterback. To push the starter. Either Jurkovec wasn’t the best option on the team at that point, which is a bad look, or he was, which is a different bad look. he should’ve played the entire second half at Michigan if not before that. would it have made any difference? Probably not but it would have lit a fire under both of them. Kelly has never, repeat never, had a quarterback improve from year one to two here. Not good. I don’t blame this kid one bit. In fact, it’s a smart decision.

oas

One correction, Ian Book may or may not be a better quarterback but he is merely an adequate quarterback. I this century, there than at Alabama, adequate quarterbacks do not get their team to the championship. Book is much to indecisive. Maybe that is what Kelly feels he has in common with Ian.

It only takes a view of the second half of GA and first half of MI to understand that this guy will not take you to where you want to go. Nor will his coach.

LouieTheToad

Really....... Kelly and the staff at ND take a hike. Something feels wrong about this. All of the explanations regarding Phil were filled with coach-speak and non answers. All we heard was Jurkovec "wasn't ready". Another example of the football program not knowing what to do

with certain players. He's probably glad to be rid of Kelly and his coaches for giving him the run around. New freshmen coming in expect to get some playing time. That's the reality in 2020. Play these guys or they won't sit around waiting.

Jake8589

I'll bet he ends up being a top 5 pick when he comes out of college and BK will look as he has, someone who has no idea what to do with a young QB with a huge ceiling and how tot develop that individual.

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