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Irish quarterback room looking sharp entering 2023

Featuring major transfer portal addition Sam Hartman and a handful of highly-rated prospects to learn from him, Notre Dame’s quarterback group is set up for success. Here’s a look at the signal-caller situation moving into next season.

2022 summary

Position leaders: Drew Pyne (10 starts), Tyler Buchner (3 starts)

The sentiment around Notre Dame’s quarterback position undulated throughout this past season. Sophomore Tyler Buchner received the season-opening nod but underwent shoulder surgery after two losses to Ohio State and Marshall. From there, the job fell into the hands of junior Drew Pyne. He started shaky but performed well in wins over North Carolina and BYU, establishing a firm connection with draft-bound tight end Michael Mayer. Pyne then regressed again and acted as a game manager in Notre Dame’s poundings of Syracuse and Clemson. He saved his two best performances for November, posting a combined 85.1 completion percentage and seven total touchdowns against Navy and Southern Cal. Buchner returned for the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, scoring five total touchdowns but throwing three interceptions. Ultimately, he led the Irish to a 45-38 defeat of South Carolina and took home game MVP.

With next year in mind, Notre Dame’s greatest strength at the quarterback position was Tyler Buchner’s rushing ability. He ran for 61 yards in the Gator Bowl and rushed for two touchdowns against both Marshall and South Carolina. Buchner attacks downhill with power and is a serious threat in the red zone. Sam Hartman will almost certainly assume the starting job, but don’t be surprised if Buchner sees some work near the goal line throughout the season.

On the other hand, the overall quarterback-to-wide receiver rapport is still very raw in the Irish offense. Notre Dame’s top three wideouts barely combined for 1,000 receiving yards in 2022. Moments of trust popped up between passer and target here and there, but never lasted more than a game. The Irish will look to Sam Hartman’s experience, leadership and pure talent to elevate an unproven receiving corps.

Key departures

Drew Pyne (departing to Arizona State)

Pyne moves on to Tempe after throwing for 2,021 yards, 22 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in 2022. He also ran for 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns, playing to an 8-2 record as a starter. All in all, the Connecticut native got the job done and helped the Irish surpass mid-season expectations after being thrust into action unexpectedly. Even so, Notre Dame should have no issue replicating and exceeding Pyne’s performance given Sam Hartman’s track record.  

Transfer portal additions

Sam Hartman (graduate student, arriving from Wake Forest)

Notre Dame brings in the ACC’s all-time passing touchdowns leader in Sam Hartman. The former Demon Deacon threw for 110 scores along with 12,967 yards in his 48 career games at Wake Forest. No quarterback in Notre Dame history has ever recorded a 3,700-plus passing yard, 38-plus passing touchdown season. Hartman has accomplished that feat in each of the past two seasons. He led Wake to an 8-5 record in 2022, throwing three interceptions in a pair of games, but delivering at least three touchdowns in eight.

Freshman additions

Kenny Minchey (four-star, Pope John Paul II High School – Hendersonville, TN)

Minchey will compete for the starting job when Hartman runs out of eligibility in 2024. For now, expect him to use this year to learn behind two signal-callers with 61 combined games of experience.

Projected 2-deep

QB1: Sam Hartman

QB2: Tyler Buchner

Contact Tyler Reidy at treidy3@nd.edu

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