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Ex-Notre Dame QB Tyler Buchner commits to Alabama

It did not take long for ex-Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner to find a new home.

Only two days after putting his name into the transfer portal, Buchner announced his commitment to Alabama on Thursday.

At Alabama, Buchner will reunite with Tommy Rees, who is entering his first season as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator after holding that same role at Notre Dame for the previous three seasons.

Buchner opened the 2022 season as Notre Dame’s starting quarterback but he went down with an injury in Week 2. He returned to play in the Irish’s Gator Bowl win over South Carolina. Buchner threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns and added 61 yards and two scores on the ground in the win. But he also threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

After the bowl game, the Notre Dame coaching staff brought in Sam Hartman from Wake Forest to bolster the position group. Hartman has thrown for 12,967 yards and 110 touchdowns in his career. He and Buchner battled for the starting job during spring practice. Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman never named a starter, but Hartman was the clear favorite.

A few days after the Irish’s spring game, Buchner decided to enter the transfer portal to explore his options and he found a mighty attractive one in Tuscaloosa.

Quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) is transferring to Alabama after beginning the 2022 season as Notre Dame's starter, but eventually losing that job due to injury. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) is transferring to Alabama after beginning the 2022 season as Notre Dame's starter, but eventually losing that job due to injury. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Tyler Buchner enters Alabama QB competition

Buchner is entering his third season of college football but has three seasons of eligibility remaining. He played in only three games last fall, allowing him to maintain his redshirt. Buchner played in 10 games in 2021 but was mainly used as a runner. For his career, Buchner has thrown for 949 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 56.8% of his attempts. He also has 459 yards and seven touchdowns rushing.

At Alabama, he will enter what seems to be a wide-open quarterback competition to replace Bryce Young, the Heisman Trophy winner who is expected to be selected No. 1 overall in Thursday night’s NFL draft.

Quarterback was the program's biggest question mark entering spring practice. That remains the case. Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson took the majority of the first-team reps during spring practice, and neither impressed during the spring game on Saturday.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban offered a lukewarm assessment of their performances and did not seem opposed to adding another arm to the group. Now that has materialized with Buchner committing to play for the Tide after visiting campus this week.

Buchner has three career starts, but that gives him the most experience of any quarterback on the Alabama roster. Milroe, a four-star recruit in 2021, started once last year when Young was injured and is entering his third season with the program. Simpson was a four-star recruit in 2022 who ranked in the top 50 in his class. He was Alabama's third-stringer last season. Alabama also has Eli Holstein and Dylan Lonergan on scholarship. Both were four-star prospects in the class of 2023 who took part in spring ball.

Alabama went 11-2 in 2022 and missed out on the College Football Playoff.