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Marcus Freeman addresses return of Tyler Buchner, Drew Pyne to Notre Dame

ns_headshot_2024-clearby:Nick Schultz12/22/23

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During last year’s transfer portal cycle, both Drew Pyne and Tyler Buchner decided to leave Notre Dame — Pyne to Arizona State and Buchner to Alabama. Those moves came after the Fighting Irish brought in Sam Hartman, who won the starting job during spring practice.

After one season at their respective schools, both Pyne and Buchner are returning to Notre Dame in a twist only the portal could provide. Neither is playing football. Pyne is returning to finish his degree before becoming a graduate transfer while Buchner will join the lacrosse team.

While Marcus Freeman didn’t talk to either player about their decisions, he sounded proud they wanted to return to South Bend to get their diplomas.

“I had no discussions with those guys coming back here,” Freeman said Wednesday. “What I do love about it is that there’s two guys coming back to get a Notre Dame degree, because that is, to me, what this thing is all about. I did hear about Tyler going to play lacrosse, and I know that’s gonna make Coach [Kevin] Corrigan really happy. I’m gonna wish him all the best.

“And Drew, I know he’s coming back to get his degree — from what I’ve heard. I haven’t talked to either of them. I’d text Drew throughout the year when I saw him doing some good things early in the season, but I did not talk to him about his decision to come back here. But I love to hear that two guys are coming back to get their degree.”

A look at how Drew Pyne and Tyler Buchner fared after transferring from Notre Dame

Pyne only appeared in two games at Arizona State after dealing with injuries throughout the year. As a result, he only completed 26 of 49 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns, along with three interceptions. That came after he stepped in for Buchner after his injury in 2022 at Notre Dame. In his 11 appearances, Pyne threw for 2,201 yards and 22 touchdowns before entering the portal ahead of the Gator Bowl.

Pyne won’t play a sport this semester as he finishes his undergraduate degree, he said.

Buchner, however, stuck with the Fighting Irish through spring practice. After a rough spring game, he decided to transfer to Alabama to reunite with Tommy Rees. He participated in the Crimson Tide’s quarterback competition and got a start against USF, throwing for just 34 yards on 5-of-14 passing in that game. He didn’t play again the rest of the year, and will now switch to lacrosse as he returns to Notre Dame.

Buchner starred as a lacrosse player in high school and even committed to Michigan at one point to play the sport.