Notre Dame QB commit Phil Jurkovec named U.S. Army Player of the Year Finalist

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame's first verbal commit in the 2018 class might also be its best.

Quarterback Phil Jurkovec — who pledged to the Irish all the way back on May 16, 2016 — has been named one of six finalists for the U.S. Army Player of the Year Award, which is given annually to the nation's premier senior high school football player.

Take a gander through Jurkovec's season statistics, and his inclusion becomes more of a formality than a surprise. The 6-foot-5, 202-pound quarterback from Gibsonia, Pa., has led Pine-Richland High School to an undefeated 14-0 record, passing for 3,528 yards and 36 touchdowns with just four interceptions, according to MaxPreps.com. Jurkovec has also completed 75.9 percent of his passes and rushed for 1,031 yards and 19 scores.

In a 49-21 victory over State College last weekend, Jurkovec completed 80 percent of his passes, throwing for 249 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 123 rushing yards and two more scores. Pine-Richland (14-0) will play against Manheim Township (12-1) on Saturday in the PIAA Class 6A state semifinals.

Jurkovec is currently ranked as a four-star recruit, the No. 5 dual-threat quarterback nationally and the No. 80 overall prospect in the 2018 class by Rivals, as well as a four-star prospect, the No. 6 dual-threat QB and the No. 102 overall player by 247Sports.

After his high school football career finally ends, whenever that happens, Jurkovec plans to sign with Notre Dame during the NCAA's new early signing period, which stretches from Dec. 20 to Dec. 22. He will enroll at ND this summer.

When he does, the consensus four-star quarterback will find plenty of competition in South Bend. Notre Dame will likely have three other quarterbacks on scholarship next season: senior Brandon Wimbush, junior Ian Book and sophomore Avery Davis.

In 11 starts this season, Wimbush — a 6-2, 228-pound junior — has completed just 49.8 percent of his passes, throwing for 1,818 yards and 16 touchdowns with six interceptions. The dual-threat signal caller has also set a single-season school record with 14 quarterback rushing touchdowns.

Book — who started in the 33-10 win over North Carolina on Oct. 7 — has completed 57.1 percent of his passes for 292 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions, while rushing for 171 yards.

Besides Jurkovec, the five other finalists for the U.S. Army Player of the Year Award are linebacker Dax Hollifield, athlete Derion Kendrick, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, defensive end Micah Parsons and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.

St. Brown — the younger brother of Notre Dame junior wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and a consensus five-star recruit — has yet to decide between USC, Notre Dame, Michigan, Alabama, Stanford and many others.

If he does opt for the Irish, St. Brown can certainly be confident in the fellow freshman throwing him the ball.

Notre Dame quarterback commit Phil Jurkovec surpassed 7,000 career passing yards last week. (Photo courtesy of Trib Total Media/Christopher Horner)