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Ex-Notre Dame QB Tyler Buchner rejoins Fighting Irish as walk-on WR after winning national title in lacrosse

Syndication: Notre Dame Insider
USATSI

Former Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner is rejoining the Fighting Irish as a walk-on wide receiver, he announced Friday. Buchner’s return to football comes right after he helped the Fighting Irish defeat Maryland 15-5 in the NCAA Division I lacrosse national championship.

The last 18 months have been quite the rollercoaster for Buchner, who began the 2022 season as Notre Dame’s starting quarterback but sat for most of the season with a shoulder injury. The one-time blue-chip recruit transferred out of the program last offseason to play for Nick Saban at Alabama only to later re-enroll at Notre Dame to play lacrosse

ESPN reported in December that Buchner hadn’t ruled out a potential return to football.

“As I returned to campus and joined lacrosse, I quickly realized my journey was not merely a return to a game I had not played since 9th grade but a renewal of my spirit and love for competition,” Buchner said in a statement. “It was an opportunity to play for the defending National Champions and to reset my goals and priorities. 

“The journey back to Notre Dame has been one of reflection and redemption,” he continued. “It has taught me that home is not just a place, but a feeling of belonging, of being part of a family that stands by you, no matter where the road leads.”

Buchner was considered one of the top lacrosse recruits in the country at Helix High School (California) and was at one point headed to Michigan before committing to Notre Dame in football as a top-100 athlete in the 2021 class. Returning from his shoulder injury in 2022, Buchner led the Fighting Irish to a Gator Bowl win over South Carolina, scoring five touchdowns. 

But when former Alabama offensive coordinator Tommy Rees took the same job under Saban, Buchner transferred to the Crimson Tide and joined a quarterback battle already featuring two names — Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson — competing to replace Bryce Young. Though Milroe started the season, his Week 2 struggles against Texas led to a promotion for Buchner the next week against South Florida. However, Milroe finished the season as the Crimson Tide’s starting QB, leading the team to a College Football Playoff appearance. 

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