Former player Jordan Cornette now host of ACC show The Huddle
Former Notre Dame men's basketball player Jordan Cornette has made the transition from the hardcourt to anchor desk. He is moving into a new role with the ACC Network as the host of its college football show, The Huddle.
ABC57's Allison Hayes spoke with Cornette via Zoom to talk about his new role, Notre Dame's move this season and the opener against Duke.
"I've got to be honest. I wasn't really sure we'd get to this point. So to be here, discussing football is something we all as sports fans and lovers and fans of the university. To be on this sacred day, talking about a sport we love. What a time to be alive. I'm so excited," Cornette said.
"One of the things you'll be talking about for game day is this Notre Dame-Duke matchup. The Irish bringing in the Blue Devils. When you look at the Irish this season, what are you most excited about for this team. What do you think is the biggest strength?" Allison said.
"It's got to be Ian Book. I mean, the NFL is a quarterback-driven league. But college football is becoming the absolute same. You've got to have somebody who can move the changes, no matter how good your defense is, it alleviates so much pressure when you can put points on the scoreboard. Ian Book, statistically, would've been the second best quarterback in the ACC last year, behind Trevor Lawrence. He's not a bad guy to be behind. I really think if these weapons around him can raise their level of play, figure this thing out early on, guys like a Braden Lenzy, I mentioned on the receiving corps. Guys like Jafar Armstrong, returning to form. If they can play to the level Ian Book can get them to, Ian Book could have the best year in the conference and he could have one of the best years in college football. So that's the kind of talent he is. He's an absolute playmaker. He's got the confidence. He's got the trust of the staff and the players. He's the voice in that locker room. This team goes as far as Ian Book is willing to take them. That's a good thing because he's incredibly talented," Cornette said.
"Of course, the Irish are a 3 touchdown favorite over Duke. Do you think that's accurate? Can they get the job done?" Allison said.
"I think you want to guard against, Allison, the Irish reading the press clippings, turning on the tube and hearing why they should absolutely pummel Duke. That's not how it works and one thing we all learned in 2020, it's unpredictable. There's nothing you can count on or project in this world. So both teams have had plenty of obstacles in a covid-era, trying to prepare their teams to get ready. It's week one. There's going to be a lot of sloppiness. I tell the fans out there to kind of caution yourselves on expectations. Understand these teams right before our eyes this first game are ironing out the kinks. Because of that, that could play to maybe an advantage for the team that is less talented and let's be very clear here. Duke is the inferior team with talent. So you want to lean on your proven entities on the field and that goes back to a guy like Ian Book, taking care of the football. Not doing too much. A lot of the talent around him to rise above the opposition. Stay within your game. Simplify things and that should carry you on through," Cornette said.
"The pre-season poll has come out for the ACC. Clemson, no shocker there, number one. But Notre Dame coming in at number 2 in the Irish debut in the ACC. What are your thoughts on the stacking on the poll and would you say you think that's pretty accurate?" Allison said.
"Yeah, I think it's a whole lot of respect for ND in the conference. I mean, there's some really good teams. North Carolina with Sam Howe. A lot of people could argue that that could be the number 2 team. Clemson is obviously established themselves as a top tier team with Notre Dame's last showing against Clemson. I think it's pretty obvious Notre Dame has some work to be done there if they want to be considered in that same class. That being said, there's a very realistic shot that Notre Dame could prove that," Cornette said.
"Do you realistically think it could be ND-Clemson playing a rematch for the ACC championship game?" Allison said.
"I think that if they're in position to have that kind of situation, it would be massive, given the amount of talent I do believe is in the ACC this season. They're in an uptick in terms what they're allowed to prove and some teams that could be dangerous. So if Notre Dame handles business, is in position to potentially go against Clemson in the end, that's something everything would be excited about. That would be a huge one," Cornette said.
You can catch Cornette on the ACC Network all season as well as on ESPN Radio every Sunday from 1 - 5 p.m. for the show he is co-hosting with his wife, Shae Peppler.
It is the first time a married couple has hosted an ESPN Radio show together.