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Tyler Buchner Returning to Notre Dame? Evaluating His Lacrosse Potential

Written by Connor D'Aquila ⏐ Writer ⏐ Twitter/X: @ConnorDaquilaIT

Photo via Notre Dame Athletics

On Monday afternoon, it was announced that former Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner would be entering the transfer portal… for lacrosse. While it was not a surprise to see him move on from Alabama, the switch in sports was shocking to many. It turns out, however, that Buchner was once one of the top players in his high school class for the sport. He was actually committed to Michigan in eighth grade before football became his primary focus and he eventually ended up at Notre Dame. As for where he will go now, the Irish were immediately a major team being talked about, and The Irish Tribune is confident that he will end up in South Bend as a lacrosse player. Below, we’ll break down what went wrong on the football field for Tyler and his potential on the lacrosse field.

What Went Wrong?

Buchner was a huge get for Notre Dame when he was coming out of high school, but only three years later he finds himself out of football altogether. A four-star recruit and number 71 player nationally via 247Sports Composite, he was pursued by all the elite programs, but a strong relationship with Tommy Rees won out. A 6-foot-1, 215-pound thrower with a reported 40-yard dash time in the 4.6s according to 247Sports, his athleticism was obvious, but his arm talent also stood out. In 13 starts in his junior year, he was able to throw for 4,474 yards and 53 touchdowns while adding 1,610 yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground. His freshman year at ND demonstrated all of the potential with productive running packages and some impressive throws. The struggles began in his sophomore year, when he was named starter entering the season, but was knocked out of a poor performance versus Marshall in week 2. He did play well in the bowl game, but further struggles in the 2023 spring game made it clear that transfer Sam Hartman would be the best quarterback for the team moving forward. After deciding to follow Coach Rees to Alabama, Buchner entered the season a backup. After struggles by Jalen Milroe, Tyler got the chance to start in a game against South Florida, but was benched once again after a 5-for-14 start.

As for why he struggled, I will not get too into the weeds, but the passing was the most glaring issue. His athleticism never faded, and he showed substantial escapability and speed to break loose for some long runs. Some have pointed out an altered throwing motion from his high school days, but there also appeared to be a lack of confidence and some poor decision-making. No matter the exact reason, Tyler has decided to make the switch back to his initial sport.

Buchner As a Notre Dame Lacrosse Player

As I said in the previous section, Tyler’s athleticism is very much still there. He consistently flashes impressive speed and agility that goes along with great size. All of this should translate well onto the lacrosse field, especially if he has maintained some of the skill he once had. A midfielder in his younger days, he was active throughout the high school and club circuits. According to his father’s YouTube channel, he had a 100 mph shot in seventh grade, an unbelievable feat for someone of that age. Freshman year highlights also reveal a player with loads of talent. Against Torrey Pines, one of the best high school teams on the West Coast his freshman year, Buchner went for five goals and one assist while displaying that incredible shot and athleticism. It is undeniable that he was a star in younger days, but the bigger question lies in how his feel for the game and IQ will hold up after so much time away.

How he will fit in on the Notre Dame squad is tough to say. The Irish are coming off a national championship and have some of the best recruits in the country, so it will be no easy task carving a role out on the team. We can only hope, however, that the staff has done their research and this is more than a publicity stunt. Luckily for Buchner, ND loses midfielders Jack Simmons, Quinn McMahon, and Brian Tevlin, all of whom were significant contributors to last year’s team. He could also slot into a more defensive position given the solid size. We should not expect much from Tyler immediately, but the potential for him to make an impact is there.

Whether or not he takes another shot at football via the walk-on route is unclear at this point, but it would be hard to be mad about that. There would be a very real possibility he never sees the field, but adding more talent to the roster and to the practice field should always be welcomed. None of this is final yet, but we are confident at the Irish Tribune that it will happen. Tyler seems to have realized he belongs in South Bend, and this should be a very interesting story to watch play out.


De Nolf's Barbershop in South Bend has arrived at Vested Interest, Notre Dame fans! If you live in the South Bend area, be sure to stop by one of the most unique and artistically inspired barbershop locations in all of America, which has recently moved to Vested Interest: a 139 year-old factory that is home to dozens of local artists and entrepreneurs. De Nolf's has provided top of the line service from expert barbers in South Bend for years, and will continue to do so at their newest location: 240 E. Tutt Street, South Bend. Be sure to stop by De Nolf's open house on December 9th to see all the hard work they've been doing to get their new location up and running. You can also check out their social media accounts linked below, as they have documented this incredible construction and move-in process for all to see!


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