Coan beat out freshman Tyler Buchner, a four-star recruit, and sophomore Drew Pyne, who played a handful of snaps for the Irish last season. Coach Brian Kelly said he had confidence in all three quarterbacks, but Coan’s experience won out.
“Jack proved to be more consistent and therefore, going into our opener, gives us the best chance for success,” Kelly tweeted.
Jack Coan will be our starting QB.
All three quarterbacks distinguished themselves in the spring and preseason camp. Clearly, each has the skills necessary to lead, but Jack proved to be more consistent and therefore, going into our opener, gives us the best chance for success.
— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) August 14, 2021
Coan, who played three seasons for the Badgers, transferred to Notre Dame after the 2020 season, in which an injury sidelined him while Graham Mertz blossomed into Wisconsin’s top quarterback.
Coan and Mertz are on track to go head to head Sept. 25 when the Irish play Wisconsin at Soldier Field in Chicago.
In three seasons at Wisconsin, Coan threw for 23 touchdowns and 3,278 yards.
“We took him because he had battle-tested experience in the Big Ten and in a very good program,” Kelly said last week.
Coan takes over for Ian Book, who led Notre Dame to the College Football Playoff in two of his three seasons as the team’s starting quarterback. Book was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round of this year’s NFL draft.