Wimbush places team success as paramount
Joe Everett | Friday, November 9, 2018
Do what’s best for the team.
It’s an easy ideal to preach, a much harder one to practice. For Irish senior Brandon Wimbush, being replaced as the starting quarterback three games into this season was perhaps the toughest test he’s ever had to come to terms with, but the New Jersey native now sees himself as stronger for it.
“It’s been tough man, personally, but having the perspective that I have — I think it’s been great. We’re 9-0. We’re going to go 10-0 this weekend,” Wimbush said. “Personally, I’ve grown in that this is just one of the obstacles I’m going to endure in my life. It’s good to see myself go through something like this. Everything’s kind of been smooth sailing for me up to this point, so it’s really good for me to endure and go through something like this and see how I come out of it — I think it’ll make me a better person.”
In his Tuesday press conference, Irish head coach Brian Kelly praised Wimbush for being a great teammate and being totally bought in to helping everyone, especially now-starting quarterback Ian Book, be as successful as they can.
“That’s my duty — [Book’s] one of my closest buddies,” Wimbush said. “That wasn’t that tough, obviously for maybe the first week it was a little rough on me, kind of took it a little personally, as any competitor would, and I still am — I’m still trying to better myself. I’m still trying to be the best quarterback I can be whenever I get the chance to go out there and compete at a high level. It’s easy supporting Book, and the rest of the guys in the room, because we’re all on each other’s side. … We’re on the same page. Even from day one, from the Michigan game, I told him ‘whoever, whenever, however — let’s win games.’ That’s the way it’s been.”
That dedication to the team has stayed consistent for Wimbush as shown through his daily preparation. If Book is ever unable to play, it’ll be Wimbush who will be leading the Irish once again, and therefore he understands the importance of his own preparation. That preparation will pay off this weekend, as the senior will start at quarterback this Saturday against Florida State on Senior Day.
“I think I try to go out there and put forth the best performance every day at practice, because I understand it. The next guys have to go in there and play at the level the guys before you played at, or even higher,” he said. “I know I have to prepare, and showing that I want to be prepared and get back into games is not too hard for me.”
As much as football means to Wimbush, it doesn’t restrict him from becoming a well-rounded person. In fact, that’s what drew him to Notre Dame: the potential to develop all the aspects that make up who he is — not just to play football.
“I wanted the experience of what it’s like without football. You choose the school based on the kind of life you want to live — the best school gives you the most options,” Wimbush said. “It’s a perfectly timed question because what I came here to do … can be taken away in the blink of an eye. So you have that second thing to go to, to jump into and take pride in. Academically and spiritually, I thought this was the best fit for me.”
Another opportunity that Notre Dame has afforded Wimbush are the people he’s met and the friendships he’s cultivated.
“The relationships that I’ve formed [are what I’ll take way],” Wimbush said. “I think they’re invaluable, and I think I’ve done a good job of maintaining those relationships throughout this tough time for myself. I’ve grown as a person, as a teammate, as a football player, as a student in this time, so I think I’ll take away lessons. Most importantly, always being prepared … for what’s next, the next step, because you’ll never know. So prepare yourself as much as you can, and hope for the best.”
Wimbush will graduate from the Mendoza College of Business in December with a degree in accounting. The senior has many options to discern in regards to what he will do next year, but he knows that he’ll make the decision that’s right for him in the end.
“I’m going to weigh them all, and decide which one is going to be the best for myself,” he said. “I think it’s a good time to be a little selfish with that decision.”
If anyone has earned the right to be selfish, it would be Brandon Wimbush. Because this season, he has been anything but.