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2021 Quarterback Controversy

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  • 2021 Quarterback Controversy

    Heading into 2021, the Notre Dame offensive depth chart is going to look waaaaaaaay different than it did 2020. While RB (Williams, Tyree, Flemister) and TE (Mayer, Takacs) are pretty easy to project based on returning production and available bodies, there are major questions to be answered everywhere else. We've already got a thread on the 2021 offensive line, and I'm sure we will debate the situation at WR plenty at some point.

    So how about we get right into the good stuff: the University of Notre Dame's starting QUARTERBACK for 2021.

    Will it be the one-year rental from Wisconsin, Jack Coan? How about the Freshman Phenom, Tyler Buchner? ND 'veteran' Brendon Clark (and his amazing mullet)? Youngster Drew Pyne, who finished '20 as Ian Book's backup and completed a pass against Alabama in the College Football Playoff? Or will the other freshman surprise everyone, with Ron Powlus III taking over right away, eventually destined to win two or three Heisman trophies?

    The candidates:


    Jack Coan, SR. 6-3, 221
    - Started at Wisconsin as a Junior in 2019, passing for 2727 yards, 18 TDs (5 INTs).
    - Played against tOSU in the 2019 B1G Championship, throwing for 232 yards, rushing for 27 yards and 2 scores in a 21-34 loss.
    - Played in the Rose Bowl the same season, throwing for 186 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in a 27-28 loss.
    - Missed 2020 with injury, seeing Graham Mertz take the starting role. Did not get a chance to play once he got healthy

    Brendon Clark, JR. 6-1, 212
    - Played in a 2019 win against New Mexico, throwing a 22-yard TD to Braden Lenzy and creating a mini backup-QB controversy with Phil Jurkovec
    - Saw action against Pitt in 202, before hurting his knee and getting shut down for the year at an unspecified point in time

    Drew Pyne, SO. 5-11, 194
    - Played in four games as a freshman, completing passes against South Florida and Alabama.

    Tyler Buchner, FR. 6-2, 205
    - Highly-rated four-star QB by 247 and Rivals
    - Above-average arm strength and accuracy
    - Great mobility and surprisingly strong ball carrier
    - At his best when he's improvising

    Ron Powlus III, FR. 6-3, 230
    - Three-star recruit
    - ND legacy, though he has a bit more potential than just being a 'name' based on his measurables and film
    - Could be in the Ian Book School of 'Three-Star Insurance Policy that Pays Off Big-Time at Some Point'


    Who's it gonna be?

    Coan probably signed up with an understanding that he's got the inside track at the job. He's a veteran QB with big-game experience and a decent record of efficiency in his only full year as a starter. Those are great things to add to an unproven QB room. You could also argue that he was set to make a big jump in his second year as a starter at Wisconsin prior to his injury. However, his numbers in the two biggest games he played in 2019 were not great, which rings alarm bells for people that had strong feelings on Ian Book's ability to get ND 'over the hump.'

    Buchner is the high-upside guy based on his recruiting profile... but he's played one season worth of football in the past three years, and it was against less-than-stellar competition. He's at his best when improvising, apparently, which is reminiscent of Ian Book (which is a welcome comparison, in this case), but with a better arm and more physical stature when running the ball. But there is debate about his mechanics, and he's totally unproven against high-level competition.

    Clarke and Pyne each have very little experience to their names, though they benefit from added time in the system when compared to the highly-regarded Buchner, which can't be overlooked (especially with the debate about BK's willingness to get offensive rookies involved).

    Powlus is a guy that initially looks like an insurance policy for filling out the depth chart, but he's got legit measurables and a decent arm. He probably doesn't win the starting job this year, but he could play a big, important role at some point (again with the Ian Book parallels!).

    I think it will be Coan, but I hope they are prepared to get Buchner involved in more than just mop-up duty. If not, it's a failure on BK and Tommy Rees, IMO. You HAVE to be better prepared for the future... this isn't Oklahoma, where it's easy to keep pulling grad transfers. That's not sustainable, and it doesn't bode well for QB development or the incumbents on the roster.
    Last edited by IrishLion; 03-04-2021, 10:56 AM.

  • #2
    I see the depth chart for this year shaping up to be:

    Coan
    Pyne/Buchner

    Haven't heard good things for Clark in regards to health unfortunately. I see Coan's experience winning out with Pyne and Buchner battling it out for the backup role. It'll be interesting to see how Buchner does especially early on considering he hasn't played real football for over a year.
    Love You JB 64.....RIP.....AI720....4EVER

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    • #3
      I’d go with the 6’4” guy that I didn’t know we had.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 317Irish View Post
        I’d go with the 6’4” guy that I didn’t know we had.

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        • #5
          Is it really a controversy? Pyne is gonna win the job and Buchner will transfer in 2 years.

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          • #6
            I've seen nothing substantiated re clark's knee. lack of hard news leads me to believe he's not good to go but it would be nice to have an annoucement to clarifiy.

            Its Coan's job to lose. I actually think a healthy clark would be next in line due to buchner's lack of meaningful reps.

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            • #7
              Lotta people talking about it being Coan's job to lose, but let's not forget that he too has not thrown a pass since the 2019 season...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ThePiombino View Post
                Lotta people talking about it being Coan's job to lose, but let's not forget that he too has not thrown a pass since the 2019 season...
                True. But it was at least in college and against BCS bowl opponents no less.
                Prehistoric

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                • #9
                  Right now I give the nod to Coan. Hard for me to put Buchner as the starting QB with 1 year of high school experience; can't rush him. I hope Pyne has a strong spring/summer.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 317Irish View Post
                    I’d go with the 6’4” guy that I didn’t know we had.
                    Not to be your editor or anything, but Mitch Evans is 6'7''

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ThePiombino View Post
                      Lotta people talking about it being Coan's job to lose, but let's not forget that he too has not thrown a pass since the 2019 season...
                      lol Buchner has played 1 season in last 3 years
                      What did Davonte do?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dublinirish View Post

                        lol Buchner has played 1 season in last 3 years
                        Didn't say otherwise. There are other QBs on the roster than just Coan and Buchner.

                        Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk

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                        • #13
                          No controversy, you start Coan and then if the season is going poorly you move on to Buchner (or one of the other QBs).

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                          • #14
                            It's Coan's job but I think they need to work Buchner in to the backup role quite a bit. He needs to be ready to go by the following year or at the very least we need to know what we have there by next year.

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                            • #15
                              'Controversy' was just an affectionate title lol.

                              We should all know how this is going to play out, unless Buchner ends up being a true revelation on the level of other recent great QB's.

                              But I thought it would be a good thread to track how things go through Spring practice clips, the B&G game, and then summer camp. We need SOMEWHERE to analyze the coach speak and gripe about Tommy Rees when things get weird.

                              This is Notre Dame, and there is a fresh face at QB. Things WILL get weird. Hopefully it's a *good* weird, and not a *can't-look-away-from-this-trainwreck* weird.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by ThePiombino View Post
                                Didn't say otherwise. There are other QBs on the roster than just Coan and Buchner.

                                Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
                                Ronnie Powlus aint ready tho!
                                What did Davonte do?

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                                • #17
                                  My desire for QB conversations this spring is to not have the words "throwing motion" said in any negative way.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Luckylucci View Post
                                    It's Coan's job but I think they need to work Buchner in to the backup role quite a bit. He needs to be ready to go by the following year or at the very least we need to know what we have there by next year.
                                    I agree that Coan is here because the staff doesn't have faith in the other options.

                                    I expect Pyne will get the backup reps this season due to his experience in the system. If Buchner's getting reps over everybody else, then you had better be sure he's ready because you might end up with a really empty quarterback room in 2022.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by ThePiombino View Post
                                      Lotta people talking about it being Coan's job to lose, but let's not forget that he too has not thrown a pass since the 2019 season...
                                      He's thrown plenty. Just not in a game. Having said that, the writing is on the wall. Unless Buchner lights it up, Coan will be starting. That's why BK brought him in. Ask BK that question in a PC and he won't say that. Get him alone with about three MACALLAN 25 YR single malts in him and he's probably blabbering like a teenage girl.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Luckylucci View Post
                                        It's Coan's job but I think they need to work Buchner in to the backup role quite a bit. He needs to be ready to go by the following year or at the very least we need to know what we have there by next year.
                                        100% this. Anything less would be pure negligence by the staff, especially considering the 2022/23 gauntlets of schedules.

                                        Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk

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                                        • #21
                                          I think it will be the Jack Coan show until there is a loss on Saturday.

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                                          • #22
                                            Originally posted by Valpodoc85 View Post
                                            I think it will be the Jack Coan show until there is a loss on Saturday.
                                            Even if he plays well in a loss?

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                                            • #23
                                              no.

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                                              • #24
                                                Buchner or bust. I'm all in on him. If he's not the guy at some point in 2021 I'll be disappointed. He just has to be the guy at some point and I'd rather it be sooner than later, especially with taking Angeli in 2022.

                                                And before anyone responds, yes I know his recent playing history and Kelly's hesitancy with freshman QBs. He is the only guy on the roster with the potential to take us over the top to a championship. And I'll reiterate - potential. None of the other QBs on the roster could lead Bama to a championship, much less ND. The more reps he gets the better imo.

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                                                • #25
                                                  I think Coan has a big year, I'm still not ready to make my much awaited yearly predictions but I'm getting warmer.

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                                                  • #26
                                                    My only hope is that it's a true open competition.

                                                    I too think it's Coan's job to lose, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if he wasn't the guy starting game 1. I mean, Coan will have rust, no pre-existing chemistry or playbook experience, etc.
                                                    The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
                                                    Of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee

                                                    Comment


                                                    • #27
                                                      Originally posted by InKellyWeTrust View Post
                                                      Buchner or bust. I'm all in on him. If he's not the guy at some point in 2021 I'll be disappointed. He just has to be the guy at some point and I'd rather it be sooner than later, especially with taking Angeli in 2022.

                                                      And before anyone responds, yes I know his recent playing history and Kelly's hesitancy with freshman QBs. He is the only guy on the roster with the potential to take us over the top to a championship. And I'll reiterate - potential. None of the other QBs on the roster could lead Bama to a championship, much less ND. The more reps he gets the better imo.
                                                      Yep. Get him out there a lot. He has to play and get some passing in.
                                                      Is there going to be a Blue & Gold game?

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                                                      • #28
                                                        IMO with a whole new OL and a stable of Rbs and Tes. It Coan all day. No way BK gives the keys to Buchner as a true freshmen with a new OL
                                                        "From Chaos comes Clarity"

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                                                        • #29
                                                          It will be Coan to open the season, and I have a strong feeling he will perform well. I do think there is merit to wanting Buchner to get time for experience, but I am not of the mind it is the only way he is to be successful in the future. I think a lot of people forget Buchner will have an opportunity to practice against elite competition on a daily basis, and the ND defense will probably continue to be chugging on all cylinders. Obviously nothing can substitute for live action, but Buchner will still have opportunities to develop through practice and repetition. My hope is Coan balls out and give's ND a shot at another playoff appearance. At the same time, hopefully Buchner will develop to the point he takes over the starting position after Coan leaves.

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                                                          • #30
                                                            Well if Coan does start all 2021, at least in 2022 Buchner or Pyne will have an easy tune up game for their first start to open the season... What's that? Really? At Ohio State you say? Shit.

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                                                            • #31
                                                              Originally posted by Nothingman View Post
                                                              Well if Coan does start all 2021, at least in 2022 Buchner or Pyne will have an easy tune up game for their first start to open the season... What's that? Really? At Ohio State you say? Shit.
                                                              Yeah we're kinda fucked lol
                                                              Love You JB 64.....RIP.....AI720....4EVER

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                                                              • #32
                                                                ND's realistic big picture football plan rn is to get Buchner ready for OSU 2022. Coan is the handholder for Buchner to sit back and learn up and get his reps when possible.

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                                                                • #33
                                                                  Also, why tf couldnt we schedule Marshall as the first game of the year '22 instead of OSU?

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                                                                  • #34
                                                                    ND will tune up Ohio State. They can’t hang with Styles and Tyree. We are O line U.

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                                                                    • #35
                                                                      First weekend is becoming common to have a big game. Us playing OSU first is in line with many big non con games coming across the country

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                                                                      • #36
                                                                        Originally posted by Dale View Post
                                                                        First weekend is becoming common to have a big game. Us playing OSU first is in line with many big non con games coming across the country
                                                                        Use to happen all the time. It's good for NCAAFB.

                                                                        Comment


                                                                        • #37
                                                                          Originally posted by LincolnBlocks View Post
                                                                          ND will tune up Ohio State. They can’t hang with Styles and Tyree. We are O line U.
                                                                          I like your optimism. Great first post. #GoIrish
                                                                          "From Chaos comes Clarity"

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                                                                          • #38
                                                                            Originally posted by Dale View Post
                                                                            First weekend is becoming common to have a big game. Us playing OSU first is in line with many big non con games coming across the country
                                                                            If you win you get full credit in the rankings. If you lose you get the "well it was week 1" discount.

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                                                                            • #39
                                                                              Originally posted by Irish#1 View Post

                                                                              Use to happen all the time. It's good for NCAAFB.
                                                                              lol its amazing to see schedules from back in the day. AD's be like "lol my coach is gonna hate me but we are going to play 6 of the AP preseason top 10 teams this year YOLO"
                                                                              Based Mullet Kid owns

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                                                                              • #40
                                                                                Only way I see Coan holding a clipboard on week one is if he gets hurt. Really hope backups can get more than a couple dozen snaps over the course of the year (I am guessing that is the average over BK's tenure).

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                                                                                • #41
                                                                                  This thread got me thinking does Anyone know when spring ball starts?
                                                                                  Love Thee Notre Dame!

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                                                                                  • #42
                                                                                    Originally posted by BabyIrish View Post
                                                                                    This thread got me thinking does Anyone know when spring ball starts?
                                                                                    The last thing I read, which was 2ish weeks ago, is that all things spring football have been paused.
                                                                                    The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
                                                                                    Of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee

                                                                                    Comment


                                                                                    • #43
                                                                                      I think you virtually have to make Buchner the #2 to get him as many reps as possible. I think you have to give him every opportunity to succeed early and essentially play himself out of the competition. He either earns it or it's noticeable he's not ready.

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                                                                                      • #44
                                                                                        Originally posted by Irish YJ View Post

                                                                                        The last thing I read, which was 2ish weeks ago, is that all things spring football have been paused.
                                                                                        I believe they resumed football activities recently.

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                                                                                        • #45
                                                                                          I think they start the last week of March, with the B&G still in mid-April. That means a compact few weeks of practice, rather than last year’s planned schedule where everything was way spread out

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                                                                                          • #46
                                                                                            Originally posted by Luckylucci View Post

                                                                                            I believe they resumed football activities recently.
                                                                                            Thanks LL. If you have a link, or see one in the future, please share. I looked after I posted the above, and found the article from 2.5ish weeks ago. You have to think with numbers going down they'll be looking to start things up.
                                                                                            The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
                                                                                            Of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee

                                                                                            Comment


                                                                                            • #47
                                                                                              Originally posted by Luckylucci View Post
                                                                                              I think you virtually have to make Buchner the #2 to get him as many reps as possible. I think you have to give him every opportunity to succeed early and essentially play himself out of the competition. He either earns it or it's noticeable he's not ready.
                                                                                              I'd prefer that too. It's just a really strange time though. You've got two kids that have been in the system. One early entry high ceiling guy, and one vet coming off an injury year.

                                                                                              I just hope one, or two, really differentiate themselves to make the coaches job easier. My fear is that it's just a big cloudy mud puddle of 3-4 guys. Nothing would really surprise me.
                                                                                              The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
                                                                                              Of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee

                                                                                              Comment

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