Alabama Football: What are Tide getting in Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner?

A team with one of the most followed quarterback competitions of the offseason so far, Alabama football officially added another name to that competition Thursday afternoon, when Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner announced his commitment to the Crimson Tide.

After spending two seasons with the Fighting Irish, what are the Crimson Tide getting in Buchner, and how will his addition affect Alabama’s quarterback competition going forward?

What impact will Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner have on Alabama football?

Buchner originally came to Notre Dame in the Fighting Irish’s 2021 recruiting class, where he was rated as a four-star prospect out of Helix High School in California. One of California’s top players that cycle, Buchner was also considered as the No. 71 player nationally in that class according to the 247Sports Composite, as well as the nation’s No. 11 overall quarterback.

For reference, the name directly ahead of Buchner in those rankings was current Ole Miss starter Jaxson Dart, with the Notre Dame transfer also directly ahead of current USC backup Miller Moss, Alabama’s Jalen Milroe, and LSU backup Garrett Nussmeier.

Once at Notre Dame, Buchner would serve as the Fighting Irish’s backup during the 2021 season, appearing in 10 games. As a freshman, Buchner would complete 60% of his passes for 298 yards and a 3:3 TD:INT ratio, while also rushing for 336 yards and three touchdowns on 46 attempts.

As a sophomore this past fall, Buchner would originally begin the year as Notre Dame’s starter, but would go on to miss a majority of the 2022 season due to injury. Limited to only three games, which came against Ohio State, Marshall, and South Carolina, Buchner would complete 55.4% of his passes for 651 yards with a 3:5 TD:INT ratio, while also rushing for 123 yards and four scores on 36 attempts.

Looking ahead to Buchner’s 2023 season however, the former four-star was currently competing for the starting job at Notre Dame this spring, with Wake Forest transfer Sam Hartman arguably the leader in that competition.

Having now transferred to Alabama, could Buchner potentially win the job in Tuscaloosa between now and week one, and what does the addition of the Notre Dame transfer mean for the Crimson Tide’s quarterback room?

With the Crimson Tide now having five total scholarship quarterbacks on their 2023 roster (Tyler Buchner, Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson, Eli Holstein, Dylan Lonergan), the immediate thought that comes to mind is that a member of that group could potentially enter the transfer portal. Buchner is another name that should be in the mix to win the starting job this fall, one who is already familiar with new Alabama offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, who joined the Crimson Tide this offseason from Notre Dame.

As for the type of player Alabama is getting in Buchner, the stats across the last two seasons aren’t necessarily eye-popping, but that has also come in a limited sample size. The Notre Dame transfer has however shown some flashes at times, in particular when running the ball, having rushed for a career 459 yards and seven touchdowns on 82 attempts.

What is known however is that Buchner is now the most experienced quarterback on Alabama football’s 2023 roster, and will undoubtedly be a name to watch for as we turn our attention to fall camp.