Blue and Gold Illustrated

April 2023

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 26 of 55 APRIL 2023 27 BY TYLER HORKA U ntil former Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees took the same job at Alabama in early February, the domi- nating offseason storyline surrounding Notre Dame foot- ball was the addition of Wake Forest graduate transfer quarter- back Sam Hartman to the Fighting Irish roster. Hartman was an adjacent talking point even in the chaos of Rees' departure, too. At first, the wonder among Irish fans was if Hartman would decide to go somewhere else because Rees left him high and dry after recruiting him out of the transfer portal. Hartman put those rumors to bed emphatically by tweeting a video of him working out at the Notre Dame facility with the caption, "Live from the Gug. #GoIrish @NDFootball." Now, with tight ends coach Gerad Parker having been pro- moted to offensive coordinator, it's once again all about how Notre Dame can get the most out of Hartman in the one season he has left as a college quarterback. He's had a prolific career with 12,967 passing yards and 110 touchdown passes. For perspective, Brady Quinn owns the all-time Notre Dame records in those categories with 11,762 and 95, respectively. Hartman has won 28 games as a starter. Ian Book set the Notre Dame record at 30, pass- ing a trio — Quinn, Ron Powlus and Tom Clements — who had 29 wins as Irish starters. Hartman should blow by them all this fall. Quite simply, junior Tyler Buchner does not have the body of work to compete with that of Hartman. But when the two are on the field together this offseason, numbers will be forgotten. The best quarterback will win the starting job and lead the Irish onto the field in Ireland Aug. 26. If numbers are indicative of future performance, though, and they generally are, that signal-caller will be Hartman. Head coach Marcus Freeman said in January that Hartman is the type of QB who makes the entire team better. After a 2022 season that included an injury to Buchner in Week 2 and 10 starts from a backup in then-junior Drew Pyne, who has since transferred to Arizona State, a true alpha in the quarterback room is just what Notre Dame was looking for. 2023 SPRING FOOTBALL OVERVIEW QUARTERBACKS PERSONNEL UPDATE Position Coach: Gino Guidugli (first season) Returning Starter: Jr. Tyler Buchner (3 career starts) Departing Starter: Drew Pyne (10) Projected New Starter: Gr. Sam Hartman (45, all at Wake Forest) Top Reserves: Buchner, So. Steve Angeli and Jr. Ron Powlus III Newcomers: Hartman and Fr. Kenny Minchey POSITION BATTLE TO WATCH HARTMAN VS. BUCHNER Yes, Sam Hartman is vastly more experienced than TYLER BUCHNER and has produced at a high level for consecutive years. But Buchner is coming off a 5-touchdown, MVP performance in the TaxSlayer Ga- tor Bowl. And had he not gotten injured in Week 2 last fall, Notre Dame might not have gone to the transfer portal at all. Buchner could have made himself an ir- replaceable incumbent. He's out to prove he's still worthy of starting status. NUMBERS TO KNOW 12.8 Yards was the average depth of target for Sam Hartman at Wake Forest in 2022, which led all FBS quarterbacks with at least 300 drop-backs. Hartman's total of 2,657 air yards also led the nation. Drew Pyne's numbers over 11 games (10 starts) at Notre Dame in 2022 were 8.0 and 937 (92nd nationally), respectively, while Tyler Buchner posted an average depth of target of 9.8 and 258 air yards in his three starts. 37 Times Hartman was sacked in 2022. That ranked fifth among all FBS quarterbacks behind Washington State's Cameron Ward (46), LSU's Jayden Daniels (45), North Carolina's Drake Maye (43) and Stanford's Tanner McKee (40). On a combined basis, Buchner and Pyne were only sacked 21 times behind Notre Dame's offensive line. 110 Touchdown passes in Hartman's career, more than any other quarter- back in ACC history. Of those, 77 have come in the last two seasons: 39 in 2021 and 38 in 2022. Notre Dame's single-season record is held by Brady Quinn, who had 37 touchdown tosses in 2006. ALL EYES ON … GRADUATE STUDENT SAM HARTMAN You don't pull the top player at his position, by many accounts, from the transfer portal for him to ride the bench. Hartman is coming in from Wake Forest to have one last shining moment as a college football quar- terback at one of the most high-profile programs in the country. It's not just the eyes of Notre Dame fans on Hartman. It's the eyes of fans of all teams from across the country. SAM HARTMAN

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - April 2023