Former Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner transferring to Alabama

Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) throws against Marshall during the first half of an...
Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) throws against Marshall during the first half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)(Michael Conroy | AP)
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 10:49 AM CDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - It didn’t take long for former Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner to decide on his new home.

Buchner, was in the NCAA transfer portal for just two days before announcing his commitment to play football for the University of Alabama on Thursday morning.

The rising junior will be reunited in Tuscaloosa with the offensive coordinator that recruited him to South Bend, as Tommy Rees left Notre Dame in February to become Alabama’s next offensive coordinator under head coach Nick Saban.

According to ESPN, Buchner flew to Alabama and visited the school on Wednesday. He reportedly had visits to other schools lined up but canceled them because Alabama put forth such a strong impression.

Buchner came into Notre Dame after not playing his senior season in high school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was passed up for the starting job in 2021 in favor of Wisconsin transfer Jack Coan.

Last season, Buchner was named Notre Dame’s starting quarterback, but he suffered a season-ending injury in the team’s second game of the season against Marshall.

However, he recovered in time for Notre Dame’s Gator Bowl matchup against South Carolina and was named the starter for that game after Drew Pyne, who took over as starter after Buchner’s injury, announced he was transferring to Arizona State. Buchner accounted for five touchdowns in Notre Dame’s win in the Gator Bowl and earned MVP honors.

Buchner played in Notre Dame’s Blue-Gold Game this past weekend, but he honestly struggled, going 8-of-18 for 44 yards and an interception while graduate transfer quarterback Sam Hartman accounted for three touchdowns.

After Saturday’s spring game, head coach Marcus Freeman had said there was still a quarterback battle between Hartman and Buchner, regardless of the stats. But now, that competition has been resolved.

16 Sports Director Matt Loch sat down with Mike Berardino and Tom Noie from our reporting partners at the South Bend Tribune to see if they were surprised by the announcement.

“Well, only in that Alabama traditionally has it’s pick of the litter,” Berardino said. “Tyler Buchner was clearly outplayed in the Blue-Gold Game and has had his problems when he’s been on the field. This guy has one career win as a starting quarterback in college football, and that came in the Gator Bowl. But even that included two pick sixes at his expense.”

“To go through an entire spring practice and then 48 hours later you say, ‘Eh, you know what, I don’t think Notre Dame’s for me.’ It just doesn’t... something along the way just doesn’t add up to how this whole thing unfolded,” Noie said.

Buchner is expected to have three years of eligibility remaining, as he is eligible for a redshirt season after only playing in three games last season.

Meanwhile, Matt’s conversation with Berardino and Noie was part of the first Pod of Gold podcast in the partnership between WNDU and the South Bend Tribune. To listen to the full episode, click here.