Blue and Gold Illustrated

April 2021

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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22 APRIL 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY PATRICK ENGEL J ack Coan didn't transfer to Notre Dame to use his final year of eligibility on the bench. If Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees' praise of him is any indication, yes, he would accept a backup role and be a good teammate if he doesn't earn Notre Dame's quarterback job this season. But the 18-game starter at Wisconsin sought a new home that would give him a strong chance at playing time and put him in position to get NFL looks. He decided Notre Dame offered the best path. Notre Dame decided he's good enough to get the chance. And considering the other four Irish scholarship quarterbacks have attempted a total of seven career passes, it's hard not to see him as the favorite to start at this point. The history of graduate transfers like him supports it — and helps set some expectations. Starters on 10-win Power Five teams aren't often available on the transfer market. Effective Power Five starters who transfer are a commod- ity, too. From 2015-20, there were 19 quarterbacks who became graduate transfers at Power F i v e t e a m s a f - ter starting for at least one season (or nearly all of it) at another Power Five school. Most of them got the chance they w a n t e d . H o l d - ing on to the job is the harder part. Fourteen of the 19 won the job as the opening-day start- ing quarterback for their new team. Nine kept it for the season, three lost it due to ineffectiveness and two ceded it after injury. As for the remaining five, four of them lost the preseason quarterback competition and one opted out of the season. Nine of the 19 graduate transfers were starters on end-of-season top-25 teams at their original schools. Coan, similarly, started all 14 games for a Wisconsin team that finished No. 11 in the final Associated Press poll of the 2019 campaign. Of the nine who won and kept jobs as graduate transfers, four led their teams to top-25 finishes. Only one of the 19, though, started for a postseason top-25 team at his initial school and transfer destina- tion: Former Alabama and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts. If Coan is Notre Dame's starter, he will be ex- pected to join Hurts in doing so. Every situation and player is dif- ferent, but to give some kind of his- torical context, here's a look at all 19 and how their careers played out. UNQUESTIONED STARTERS (9) • Feleipe Franks (Florida to Ar- kansas, 2020) Florida career: 24 starts over three seasons, including all 13 games for a 10-3 team in 2018 that finished sev- enth in the AP poll. Arkansas career: Started nine games for a 3-7 team. Stats: 163 of 238 (68.5 percent) for 2,107 yards with 17 touchdowns (TD), 4 intercep- tions (INT) and 8.9 yards per attempt (YPA). • Peyton Ramsey (Indiana to Northwestern, 2020) Indiana career: 23 starts over three seasons, notably all 12 games for a 5-7 team in 2018 and seven contests for an 8-5 team in 2019. Northwestern career: Started all nine games for a 7-2 team that won the Big Ten West and finished 10th in the AP poll. Stats: 172 of 282 (61.0 percent) for 1,733 yards with 12 TD, 8 INT and 6.1 YPA. • Jalen Hurts (Alabama to Okla- homa, 2019) Alabama career: 28 starts in two seasons, which both culminated with an appearance in the national cham- pionship game. Oklahoma career: Heisman runner- up, AP third-team All-American and started all 14 games for 12-2 team that was the No. 4 seed in the Col- lege Football Playoff. Stats: 237 of 340 (69.7 percent) for 3,851 yards with 32 TD, 8 INT, 11.3 YPA, plus 1,298 rushing yards and 20 TD en route to being a second- round pick in the NFL Draft. • Kelly Bryant (Clemson to Mis- souri, 2019) Clemson career: 16 starts over two seasons, includ- ing all 14 games for the 2017 CFP No. 1 seed and ACC champion. Missouri career: 10 starts for a 6-6 team. Stats: 181 of 292 (62.0 percent) for 2,215 yards with 15 TD, 6 INT and 7.6 YPA. • Davis Webb (Texas Tech to Cali- fornia, 2016) Texas Tech career: 14 starts over three years, and ended his Red Raid- ers career eighth in school history with 46 touchdown passes. Cal career: Started 12 games for 5-7 team. Stats: 382 of 620 (61.6 percent) for 4,295 yards with 37 TD, 12 INT and 6.9 YPA. • Trevor Knight (Oklahoma to Texas A&M, 2016) Recent history says Coan is likely to win Notre Dame's starting job, but keeping it will be the real challenge. PHOTO BY DAVID STLUKA/COURTESY WISCONSIN ATHLETICS HISTORY LESSON Recent graduate transfer quarterbacks can help gauge expectations for Jack Coan

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