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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame QB Drew Pyne Motivated & Focused

April 6, 2021

Notre Dame quarterback Drew Pyne doesn't need any extra motivation. 

The 5-foot-11, 194-pounder is self-motivated and doesn't need buttons pushed to light the fire. 

"I'm more driven off of the people that are on my back," Pyne stated. "I love playing for my family. My family really motivates me. I love progression. I love making other guys better and being the best teammate I can. 

"What motivates me is getting better every single day and never staying complacent with where are you are the day before."

The Connecticut native also knows his strengths. Pyne takes pride in his preparation and the fact no one will outwork him to prepare for practice or games.

"I like to improve on everything," explained Pyne. "I like growing on everything. I think I was able to do that last year, getting all the second-team reps throughout the whole year. Ian (Book) taking him under his wing, I couldn't have more praise for Ian. I learned from him and Coach Rees. I was in watching film with them after every single practice until 9 o'clock at night. 

"I was able to go in against Alabama and I was calm because I knew that I prepared well. I knew that Ian and Coach Rees helped me prepare that way and Coach Kelly as well." 

Pyne arrived at Notre Dame focused on his preparation and wasted little time getting to work. As an early enrollee, Pyne got into his playbook early and it allowed him to master the offense before Notre Dame's first and only spring practice. 

"Coming in last year, I came in early and I was excited to have spring ball," said Pyne. "We got sent home for quarantine and we weren't able to come back. That first spring ball practice, I studied so much before that. I knew all the plays and all the reads. Once I went in there, I wasn't nervous at all because I knew everything and it was so much easier." 

The chance to see how Book conducted himself was also an effective learning tool for Pyne. Neither quarterback is physically imposing, but you can still win 30 games if you put in the work and master areas others don't. 

"Ian was instrumental to me and my growth last season," Pyne stated. "He was a great leader, role model and a great friend to me. He's someone I really, really look up to. Being able to have him taken me under his wing is something I'll always be grateful for. I'm very thankful for him." 

Book, Javon McKinley, Ben Skowronek and Tommy Tremble are all gone, so the quarterback battle is even more challenging as they try to build chemistry with the receiving corps at the same time. 

Pyne has been extremely impressed with what he's seen from his receivers this spring and feels they are all on track to make significant progress. 

"I think it's great," Pyne said of the receivers. "Avery (Davis) leads really well. (Lawrence) Keys and Braden (Lenzy) have looked great. Jordan (Johnson) is looking a lot better. I think all those guys and I could name a ton of people - Xavier Watts is looking great. Joe Wilkins Jr. is looking great. The receivers are looking awesome. 

"It's led by AD, but they are more locked in than I've ever seen. They know we lost a few guys last year, some older guys. They're locked in and getting better. Coach (Del) Alexander is doing a great job with them. The chemistry is great and I've thrown to them all last season and all offseason. Something we pride ourselves on is head down and work. This offense is all about work. I think the receivers are really taking that role."

The quarterback battle has been a healthy one to this point. We've seen some battles get sidetracked by drama in the past, but Rees has made sure his room has stayed focused on the bigger picture. 

"Something Coach Rees really prides himself on is our quarterback room has always been very healthy," explained Pyne. "Ian really helped me last year and he's one of my best friends. I'm really good friends with Brendon (Clark). I'm great friends with the whole quarterback room. Coach Rees has really made a great culture in our quarterback room." 

The battle got more complicated when Jack Coan announced his graduate transfer from Wisconsin to Notre Dame, but Pyne and the other quarterbacks have embraced what he can add to the room. 

"Jack is a really smart guy," said Pyne. "He helps me when I'm in and I'm coming off. I try to help him when he's in and coming off. We do the same with Tyler (Buchner). We all have each other's backs. We all know when you're in, we're just controlling what we can control. 

"When we have our reps, we're trying to maximize our reps and when other guys have reps, we're trying to help him. That's a testament to Coach Rees because he's created that with a great quarterback room. The room is healthy. We're all motivated and trying to get better. We're trying to be the best teammates we can and trying to help the team win games. That's our main goal." 

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