Notre Dame gets the letter: Consensus four-star quarterback Tyler Buchner
Helix High School; La Mesa, Calif.
Measurements: 6’2”, 210 lbs.Accolades: An Under Armour All-American and Elite 11 finalist, the consensus four-star passer is the No. 6 dual-threat quarterback in the class, the No. 10 recruit in California and the No. 111 overall prospect in the country.
Other Notable Offers: As perhaps Notre Dame’s most highly-recruited quarterback signee since Dayne Crist or Gunner Kiel, it is safe to assume Buchner could have gone anywhere he wanted. Alabama, Georgia and USC all offered him a scholarship, for starters.
Projected Position: Does it need to be said?
Quick Take: Expectations for Buchner should be measured because 1) they always should be, exhibit A: Phil Jurkovec; and 2) he has not played in more than a year, and will not see competitive action for at least another nine months. Losing his senior season in California cost Buchner valuable game reps, and only time will help compensate for that.
Short-Term Roster Outlook: Those calming thoughts aside, Buchner’s path to starting from day one at Notre Dame opened up a bit with the recent news that sophomore quarterback Brendon Clark’s right knee has been “cranky” of late, the same knee in which he tore his ACL in high school. The Irish will re-evaluate Clark’s knee this offseason, but if it requires work, suddenly spring practices — whatever form they take — could be entirely Buchner’s and current freshman Drew Pyne’s.
Long-View Depth Chart Impact: If it becomes a Buchner vs. Pyne position competition, Buchner’s arm strength and athleticism may prove the difference, not to mention his natural scrambling ability. The last time a true freshman started at quarterback for Notre Dame? Its current offensive coordinator Tommy Rees in 2010.
Obviously, these circumstances would be quite different, with Rees stepping in due to injury and only in November, while Buchner may end up the day-one starter.
But again, none of that is certain. If Clark needs just a knee cleanup, he could be pretty close to full-go in the spring, and he has only impressed in his two years in South Bend. If available, Clark should be considered the front-runner for the starting gig, at which point Buchner may have to patiently bide his time for two years.
SIGNING DAY COVERAGE
— On Signing Day, remember Notre Dame’s surge has hinged on three-stars
— A Signing Day surprise: Four-star safety Khari Gee, flipped from LSU
— A Signing Day surprise: Consensus four-star RB Audric Estime, flipped from Michigan State
— Consensus four-star QB Tyler Buchner
— Trio of four-star WRs in Lorenzo Styles, Deion Colzie and Jayden Thomas
— Five-star offensive tackle Blake Fisher and four-star guard Rocco Spindler
— Consensus four-star LB Prince Kollie, the day’s greatest worry
— Hawaiian LB Kahanu Kia
— Cornerbacks Philip Riley and Ryan Barnes
— Three-star cornerbacks JoJo Johnson and Chance Tucker
— Consensus three-star safety Justin Walters
— Tight ends Cane Berrong and Mitchell Evans— Consensus four-star defensive tackle Gabriel Rubio— Pair of California defensive ends, Will Schweitzer and Devin Aupiu
— Three more offensive linemen in Caleb Johnson, Pat Coogan & Joe Alt
— Inexperienced defensive end Jason Onye
— Kicker Joshua Bryan