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Tyler Buchner declares transfer to Alabama, playing under Rees

| Thursday, April 27, 2023

Ryan Vigilante | The Observer
Irish quarterback Tyler Buchner drops back to pass during Notre Dame’s victory over South Carolina in the Gator Bowl Friday night. Ryan Vigilante | The Observer

After entering the transfer portal on Tuesday, former Irish quarterback Tyler Bucnher declared late Thursday morning he would continue his collegiate career in Tuscaloosa. The junior will transfer to Alabama and compete to start for them in the 2023 season.

Buchner follows former Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees to the Crimson Tide as the squad searches for a quarterback identity. Rees, having left the Irish in February, has a quarterback battle of his own and will add Buchner to the mix.

The decision came after the quarterback led the Blue team in Notre Dame’s spring game while competing with graduate transfer Sam Hartman on the Gold squad for the starting job. While Hartman and his group of running backs and receivers found 24 points, the Blue squad scored none with Buchner.

Still, Buchner was widely received as the best quarterback option currently in the transfer portal, and after a visit to Alabama on Wednesday, and less than impressive spring game performances — according to Nick Saban — from both Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson, Buchner made his decision to return to a Tommy Rees-coached offense. Rees originally recruited the California native to Notre Dame in the first place. Buchner completed 57% of passes for six touchdowns and eight interceptions in 13 games (3 starts) with the Irish. His first season as the full-time starter for Notre Dame was cut short by injury last season. Buchner returned only for the Gator Bowl, where he led Notre Dame to a 45-38 victory, accounting for five touchdowns but also throwing three interceptions.

With the door to the starting position much more open in Tuscaloosa than in South Bend, Buchner thanked his teammates for the “friendships that were forged under fire” and his coaches for “all they did to help [him] mature both on and off the football field.” But ultimately, in his statement, Buchner said playing football at Alabama and under Saban would be “the best decision for [his] future.”

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About Mannion McGinley

Mannion McGinley is an American Studies and Sociology major with a Journalism minor in Notre Dame's class of 2023. She is a member of the Glynn Family Honors program and currently serves as an Assistant Managing Editor at The Observer.

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