When former Wisconsin transfer quarterback Jack Coan announced his plans to head to Notre Dame it seemed he was a lock to get the starting job. While that might still be true, the reality is Coan is going to have to work incredibly hard and play very well from now until September 5 to win the job.
The reason for that is the presence of sophomore quarterback Drew Pyne, who has battled for the starting job all spring, and that battle isn’t close to being over. Pyne is often overlooked by some because he lacks the elite size you look for in a top quarterback, he’s not a dynamic runner and he doesn’t have a cannon for an arm.
What is overlooked about Pyne is that he is, as I like to call him, the ultimate point guard quarterback. He’s a wicked smart quarterback with a quick release and top-notch accuracy, and if you put playmakers around him he'll get the ball where it needs to go, and do it impressively. But that’s not all he brings to the table.
“Drew, from the moment he stepped in here last year until now has been just an absolute burst of energy for the group,” offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tommy Rees said of his sophomore signal caller. “He sets the tone in terms of the way he is vocal, brings energy, not just to the quarterback group but to the rest of the offense. The joy to play this game is evident every time you watch Drew.”
Leadership and attitude are areas where Pyne has earned praise from the moment he arrived in South Bend, but let’s be honest, you don’t - or shouldn’t - win the starting job because you have a great attitude and have fun playing the game. Those are nice intangibles, but they are not the reason Pyne is battling hard for the starting job at Notre Dame.
Pyne can make plays.
“He’s a steady player, he understands the most important thing to do as a quarterback is to put the offense in good plays and to move the ball,” Rees explained. “That’s his strength right now. that’s something that we’re going to continue to build on. It feels like he’s a veteran, but he’s only been here a year, so there’s still a little bit of a learning curve, there’s still some things we’re trying to get fixed with him, but in terms of being efficient and making the offense go he’s done a great job with that.”
The battle is far from over, and there’s work for all the quarterbacks to do between now and when the Fighting Irish head to Tallahassee to kick off the season against the Florida State Seminoles. If Coan wins the job it means he performed very, very well, because if he isn’t Pyne will be ready to take over and do what he’s always done, prove doubters wrong.
Notre Dame Spring Practice Highlights - Practice 1
Notre Dame Spring Practice Highlights - Practice 2
Notre Dame Spring Practice Highlights - Practice 3
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Notre Dame Spring Practice Highlights - Practice 12
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