The Notre Dame roster movement continued on Monday with some significant news impacting the 2021 Fighting Irish. Notre Dame landed a huge graduate transfer quarterback – Jack Coan of Wisconsin – adding a veteran to their quarterback who has started a Big 10 Championship Game and a Rose Bowl.
Coan was Wisconsin’s starting quarterback in 2019 before injures cost him his 2020 season. Graham Wertz filled in for Coan this season with mixed results. Coan entered the transfer portal at the end of December.
Coan started all 14 games for the Badgers in 2019, throwing 18 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions. Against Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship, Coan completed 17 of 33 passes for 232 yards. He also ran for two touchdowns in the Badgers 34-21 loss to the Buckeyes. Against Michigan, Coan completed 13 of 16 passes for 128 yards while rushing for another two touchdowns.
Wisconsin generally asks their quarterbacks to be more game managers while relying heavily on the run. Coan ended the 2019 season, completing nearly 70% of his passes for 2,727 yards in his first full year starting. He was on the Davey O’Brien watch list before injuring his foot in camp before the 2020 season.
With Ian Book headed to the NFL, the quarterback room for the Irish was going to be very inexperienced between junior to be Brendan Clark, sophomore Drew Pyne, and incoming freshmen Tyler Buchner and Ron Powlus. With injury concerns clouding Clark’s future, adding a graduate transfer at quarterback made a ton of sense.
Coan will compete with Pyne, Clark, and Buchner for the starting job and would appear to be the favorite to win the job. It’s hard to imagine him committing to Notre Dame over Tennessee and Rutgers if he didn’t think he would be starting for Notre Dame on Labor Day weekend.
Coan was familiar with Notre Dame before his transfer. He initially committed to Notre Dame for lacrosse before he became a 4-star recruit for football. Rivals ranked Coan as the #241 overall prospect in the class of 2017.
As the current 2021 Notre Dame schedule stands, the Irish are set to face Wisconsin on September 25 at Soldier Field.
Greg will have a more in-depth overview of Coan’s game shortly.