Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman comments on Tyler Buchner to Alabama

On3 imageby:Tyler Horka04/27/23

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It’s only been four months since Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman stood in a press conference room deep in the bowels of TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., and praised quarterback Tyler Buchner with a wide smile on his face after a 45-38 victory for the Fighting Irish in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

“Tyler Buchner is an example of a guy who had a bumpy road,” Freeman said. “The way he finished off this season, having a chance to start, and the ability to really tune out all the noise and focus on his job. That’s within a practice, within a season, within a game. That’s why I’m proud of him.”

The glowing review came shortly after the two affectionately embraced on the field just prior to Buchner receiving the game’s MVP trophy for accounting for five total touchdowns. Now, as of Thursday, Buchner is an Alabama quarterback. Freeman won’t speak on Buchner much moving forward.

One of his last instances doing so was Thursday on NFL Network.

“We love Tyler,” Freeman told Andrew Siciliano. “Wish him the best of luck. When he made his decision to go into the portal, I told him, ‘You know what, I’m always a fan of yours.’ I look forward to see the success he has at his next program.”

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Things move quickly in college football these days. Eight months ago, Freeman named Buchner Notre Dame’s starting quarterback for the 2022 season. Buchner gave Notre Dame the best chance to win at that time. Now, Wake Forest graduate transfer Sam Hartman does. Hartman severely outplayed Buchner in last week’s Blue-Gold Game, which had to have factored into Buchner’s decision to bolt for Alabama.

Buchner will team back up with former Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, who has held the same position at Alabama for two and a half months. Rees closely recruited Buchner and was highly instrumental in getting him to South Bend.

Buchner is 1-2 as a starter at the college level and has career statistics of 67-of-118 (56.8 percent) for 949 yards with 6 touchdowns and 8 interceptions and 82 rushes for 459 yards and 7 touchdowns. As it stands, he’ll be competing for Alabama’s starting job with redshirt sophomore Jalen Milroe and redshirt freshman Ty Simpson.

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