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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame QB Tyler Buchner Impressed Many in 2021

January 24, 2022
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Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner arrived on campus last January and there was excitement with his arrival from Irish fans across the country. 

Why? 

Buchner turned in one of the most productive seasons in high school football history as he threw for 4,474 yards and 53 touchdowns while adding 1,610 rushing yards and 28 more scores as a junior. 

The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder didn't get a senior season due to COVID, so the spring was the first time Notre Dame got eyes on him in over a year and Buchner took advantage of it. 

As a freshman, the La Jolla (Calif.) native played in 10 games and flashed his playmaking potential in several ways. 

Buchner found a niche in the offense and finished the year 21-of-35, 298 passing yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. He also added 336 rushing yards and three scores. 

Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees was pleased with Buchner's development over the last year as his freshman had more on his plate than others in the room. 

"Ty has a grasp of our system and what we're running," said Rees in December. "There's a couple things that are in the game plan that are specific, 'Hey, Jack (Coan), you're running this.' 

"Outside of that, Tyler really has to know the full plan and then he has a separate plan that doesn't apply to Jack. For Tyler, it's actually the whole thing and then probably plus a little bit more and that just speaks volumes to him and his preparation and his capacity to mentally handle everything."

Receiver Avery Davis has seen it all during his time at Notre Dame, including being in the quarterback room as a true freshman. The former Elite 11 participant was impressed with what he saw from Buchner and knows he's only improving. 

"I think we all see his potential - the ability he could produce in games and things he can do - the plays he can make," explained Davis. "I've seen more than you have in practices. We compete every single day. You see him in every single situation. He's very, very talented and has a tremendous amount of upside. I think the competition will bring even more out of him this spring.
 
"Whoever wins the job, I think it's going to be the right guy." 

The moments in practice have drawn praise from those in The Gug, but what exactly is Buchner showing? 

"Through the season, we utilized his legs more than his arm," Davis said. "I think you saw a few passes, but that goes back to my comment about practice. You see those throws. He's like that new wave of quarterback - I don't want to compare him to Patrick Mahomes, but the ability to throw off target and off body and still make an accurate throw and the confidence he can make those types of throws - even if some of them are ill-advised. 

"Most of the throws I'm talking about are in practice, so not all of them go well, but you see the potential, the moxie and mindset of, 'I can make that throw.' All those are good things." 

Fifth-year senior receiver Braden Lenzy has also experienced multiple quarterbacks during his time at Notre Dame and believes Buchner's belief in his own talents sticks out. 

"He definitely has confidence on the field," stated Lenzy. "I think that's the biggest indicator of a good player when young. He's definitely the best runner I've had as a quarterback in college. 

"It wasn't showcased, but he has a good arm and as time goes on, he'll be able to make smarter decisions as a passer. That comes with experience. Quarterback is the hardest position. There's a lot going on and I think he'll improve vastly." 

Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman is also high on Buchner as he saw what he could do in various settings in the spring and fall. 

"What I see is a dude that can throw the ball," said Freeman. "He has a great release and he can put the ball in places that I haven't seen many people do. Then obviously, we know he can escape. He has the ability to extend plays with his legs.

"When I hear Tommy talking to Tyler or Tommy talking to any of the quarterbacks, I just listened for, hey, is it a physical thing, or is it a decision-making thing? You just want to continue to see that growth in the decision-making. But he's a talent. He's a real talent."

 
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