June 21, 2024

Former Alabama quarterback Tyler Buchner announced in a letter to Notre Dame Football that he will return to college football with the Fighting Irish, but in a slightly different capacity. Buchner, who originally committed to Notre Dame out of high school, led the Irish to a victory in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl against the South Carolina Gamecocks in 2022, throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for two more.

In the spring of 2023, Buchner entered the transfer portal and committed to Alabama, following his Notre Dame offensive coordinator, Tommy Rees, to Tuscaloosa. In his letter to Notre Dame, Buchner detailed his transition to Alabama.

“Alabama had been an adventure, a place where I had tested my limits and discovered both my strengths and vulnerabilities. Nothing felt familiar when I arrived in June: from the Southern drawls to the burnt ends and sweet tea, to the ‘yes sirs’ and addressing women as ‘Miss First Name,’ and to a locker room with teammates whose primary aspirations were to play in the NFL.

Alabama QB Tyler Buchner enters transfer portal after 1 season; may play  lacrosse

My new environment felt foreign, and the stifling summer heat was a constant reminder that I was not in South Bend anymore. Even so, I embraced my new landscape and started competing upon my arrival.”

Crimson Tide fans remember the aftermath of Alabama’s loss to Texas. Tyler Buchner was named the starting quarterback for the road game against USF, but it didn’t go as planned for either Alabama or Buchner.

“I got the green light to start in the third game of the season and had the best week of practice of my career leading up to it. Unfortunately, I played poorly and was benched for the first time in my life by Coach Saban on ESPN. I was devastated and fell into a deep emotional hole. What I had been working so hard for all these years suddenly felt like a pipe dream. And over the following weeks, I felt hopeless and hated football.”

Buchner was then demoted to No. 4 on Alabama’s depth chart (according to pregame lineups) and did not appear in another game, but he remained on the roster.

He described his experience after being benched and how he found a new role on the team.

“I had to dig deep to realize that I would have to seek new goals there in Tuscaloosa. I had never played scout team before, but ahead of LSU, I pulled myself out of my funk and volunteered to run scout. After the game, Coach Saban found me and thanked me for helping the team beat the Tigers. I had discovered a new role on the team and recognized that one bad game would not define my contribution. I learned to truly appreciate having shared goals in the common pursuit of excellence, even if I was not playing.”

Buchner then announced his transfer back to Notre Dame, switching from football to lacrosse. He helped Notre Dame compete for a national championship in lacrosse.

Now, Buchner announces he will return to the Notre Dame football team as a walk-on wide receiver.

“Notre Dame has always been a place of faith and redemption, but I never imagined the extent of its generosity until the day Coach Freeman allowed me to rejoin the football team as a walk-on. Being able to play the game I have loved since I can remember and playing for Notre Dame had been my dream. I risked it all and believed I had lost it all, as I did not think even returning to football at Notre Dame would be in the cards. As I was leaving Alabama, I had scholarship opportunities to play quarterback elsewhere.

Alabama QB Tyler Buchner in portal -- to play lacrosse

Even though I knew I was potentially giving up on my football dreams, I turned them down and told my parents that I would pay my way through school because I only wanted to be at Notre Dame. It would have been easy for the football coaching staff to see me just as a player who had left, but instead, I am grateful they were able to see me as a young man eager to return and contribute in any way I could for the greater good of the team.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *