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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame QB Tyler Buchner Taking Spring One Step At A Time

March 23, 2022

Quarterback Tyler Buchner arrived on campus in January of 2021 in the middle of a pandemic and not having played a live football game in over a year. 

Two months later, the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder found himself not only in a college practice but also, at times, taking reps with the first-team offense. 

It's quite the jump for any early enrollee, much less a quarterback, who has more responsibility than any other position in sports. 

A year later, Buchner enters his second spring and Notre Dame has a comfortable quarterback taking the practice field.  

"There's certainly an elevated level of comfort and I think that comes with time," explained Buchner. "This is my third semester here at Notre Dame, which is my second spring. It's certainly a lot higher level of comfort. 

"I'm friends with all the guys on the team. The coaching staff has been great, all the support staff I've gotten to know well, strength staff, the coaches, the rest of my players. I'm definitely more comfortable than I was as a true freshman, 18 year old coming to South Bend for the first time."

Buchner might have been swimming as he took it all in a year ago, but his talent also emerged as offensive coordinator Tommy Rees developed a plan to get him on the field in the fall. 

The plan worked as Buchner completed 60 percent of his passes for 298 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions while adding 336 rushing yards and three more scores. 

Buchner not only earned game experience as a true freshman, but he made game-winning plays as Notre Dame fought for the College Football Playoff. 

"This fall was certainly a lot of fun and I certainly learned a lot," said Buchner. "But I think what you saw this fall from me isn't completely who I am as a player. I definitely think there's more to that and I'm excited to work on that this spring, and hopefully show it in the future."

One area of focus for Buchner will be leadership. Marcus Freeman and Rees have challenged Buchner and fellow quarterback Drew Pyne over the last two months to take ownership of the team. 

Buchner has shined in the quarterback room, small group settings and the next step will be making his leadership felt throughout the entire program.

"Tyler has it in him," Rees said of his sophomore quarterback's leadership. "He's ultra-competitive, but the big thing for Tyler is let's get that out of you this offseason and we've put him in position to do that." 

Perhaps the most essential lesson Buchner learned last fall is tied to leadership, which can only excite the coaching staff. 

"Probably the biggest thing I learned from Jack and the coaches and just being around this program is that you can't just do what's required," stated Buchner. "Doing what is required is great, but that's not the standard. 

"That's doing the very minimum, but if you want to be great here and you want to play and you want to start and you want to be really, really good, you got to do the extra things." 

Buchner knows he's in a quarterback battle, but don't expect him to get overwhelmed as he's taking it one day at a time. 

"I think it's just about being where your feet are and doing everything one step at a time," said Buchner. "I wake up, have my cup of coffee, go to class, do workouts, everything - just set out a good schedule. It's kind of what I do, get on a good schedule and take it every day, day-by-day, try to avoid the noise and just keep your head down, keep working."

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