Alabama’s quarterback dilemma picked up a newcomer on Thursday with the transfer portal addition of former Notre Dame starter Tyler Buchner.
Buchner made the announcement Thursday morning on social media. He entered the portal earlier this week, and his only visit was to Alabama. Former Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, who recruited Buchner to South Bend, is in his first year as the Alabama offensive coordinator.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Buchner was a four-star recruit from San Diego Helix High. He was offered by Alabama in high school but opted to sign with Notre Dame. Buchner was a backup quarterback as a true freshman, throwing for 298 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. He won the starting job last season but injured his shoulder during the second game of the season. He didn’t return until the Gator Bowl, where he threw for 273 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions in a 45-38 win over South Carolina.
Now he injects himself into an open race to take over as the starting quarterback with the departure of Bryce Young to the NFL. Jalen Milroe, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound redshirt sophomore, threw for 245 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions while playing with the first offense in Alabama’s A-Day game. Ty Simpson, a 6-foot-2, 203-pound redshirt freshman, threw for 155 yards with an interception.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban was asked after the game about the advantages of a quarterback established in a system over plugging a quarterback in from the transfer portal at this point.
“I think the people who have been in the program have an advantage to some degree,” Saban said at the time. “They know the system, they’ve had a lot of reps in the system. But, I also think everybody needs to ask themselves, no matter what position they play, are you playing winning football at that position and can you play winning football at that position. I think that’s better answer to the question. Who can do that the best? Those are evaluations we have to make as coaches at every position.”
He then gave a hint as to where the situation was headed.
“We’ve tried to build this program on the guys we’ve recruited and the people in the program,” Saban said “But, we have had a few guys who have come in and made a real impact on the team. If we see an opportunity to do that, we’re always looking for a way to make our team better.”
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