A notable quarterback has hit the transfer market.
Notre Dame’s Tyler Buchner announced Tuesday that he intends to put his name into the transfer portal. Buchner, who has been competing for the starting job with Wake Forest transfer Sam Hartman throughout spring practice, said he intends to explore his options but remaining at Notre Dame is on the table.
Buchner said he discussed his next moves with Irish head coach Marcus Freeman and Freeman left the door open for Buchner to remain in South Bend.
“I have decided to enter the transfer portal in order to explore my options and decide what is best for my future,” Buchner said. “After discussions with coach Freeman, remaining at Notre Dame is thankfully an option I’m continuing to consider.”
Buchner opened the 2022 season as Notre Dame’s starting quarterback, but he went down with an injury in Week 2. Buchner was able to return from his injury for the Irish’s 45-38 win over South Carolina in the Gator Bowl. He threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns and added 61 yards and two scores on the ground in the win. But he also threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns.
After the season, Notre Dame added Hartman for his final season of college football. Hartman, who threw for 12,967 yards and 110 touchdowns at Wake Forest, participated in spring practice and impressed in Saturday’s spring game.
Freeman hasn’t named a starter, but Hartman is the clear favorite to win the job entering the 2023 season. Buchner’s decision to explore transfer opportunities is more evidence of that.
Buchner is entering his third season of college football but has three seasons of eligibility remaining. He played in only three games last fall, allowing him to maintain his redshirt. Buchner played in 10 games in 2021 but was mainly used as a runner.
For his career, Buchner has thrown for 949 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 56.8% of his attempts. He also has 459 yards and seven touchdowns rushing.
If Buchner does leave the Irish, Steve Angeli and Kenny Minchey are the only other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. Angeli is a redshirt freshman who opened the 2022 season as the Irish’s third-stringer. Minchey is a true freshman who was a four-star recruit in the 2023 class. He enrolled early and took part in spring practice.
Possible landing spots for Tyler Buchner
There are some high-profile programs looking for some help at quarterback, and it seems fair to include Alabama in that group based on Nick Saban’s unenthusiastic assessment of Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson following the Crimson Tide’s spring game on Saturday.
Former Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees left South Bend for the same position at Alabama earlier this offseason. Could a reunion with Buchner in Tuscaloosa be in order?
Milroe and Simpson have been competing to replace Bryce Young as Alabama’s starter, but there have been rumblings behind the scenes that the Tide were looking for reinforcements at the position. Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke was floated as a possibility in media reports last week before those rumblings were shut down. Perhaps it will be Buchner who joins the fold and adds some intrigue to the Bama quarterback competition ahead of fall camp. Whether he’s capable of winning the job is open to interpretation.
A few other SEC programs, like Auburn and Florida, also make some sense as potential options for Buchner. TCU had also been looking for some quarterback help and ended up landing a commitment from former Oregon State starter Chance Nolan later Tuesday. That would seem to eliminate the Horned Frogs from the Buchner sweepstakes.
At this time of year, there aren’t many experienced quarterbacks available in the portal. Buchner will certainly draw plenty of interest. The spring transfer window is open until April 30, so there could be a few more names that pop up in the next few days.