The Notre Dame football team will say goodbye to quarterback Ian Book this offseason, as he heads to the NFL as the winningest signal-caller in school history. Book was a guy who was able to make plays with his arm, and his legs and his leadership for the Irish is certainly going to be missed in 2021.
Looking ahead, Brian Kelly and Tommy Rees will have to find a way to replace him, and there are several different ways they could go. Tyler Buchner comes in as a highly-touted true freshman quarterback, joining a group of returning quarterbacks in Brendon Clark and Drew Pyne.
However, it is a graduate transfer who will likely emerge as the starter for the Irish, and they are getting a solid player in former Wisconsin quarterback, Jack Coan.
Notre Dame football getting an efficient passer in Coan
As we take a look at the last time Coan was a starter, the 2019 college football season, we see a player who was efficient under center and led his team to some improbable victories. Expected to finish third in the Big Ten Western Division that season, Coan led the Badgers to the Big Ten title game, losing to No. 1 Ohio State.
Still, it was an outstanding season for Coan, as he proved to be an accurate passer and tremendous leader for the Badgers. He completed nearly 70 percent of his passes, including going over 75 percent on six occasions, and past 80 percent three times. For the season, he tossed 18 touchdowns and did not have more than one interception in any game.
That season, Wisconsin got off to a fast start, winning six straight before losing as a big favorite Illinois. After losing to Ohio State the following week, Coan led the team to four straight victories to close out the season, including two against ranked teams.
Wisconsin would lose the Big Ten title game, and the Rose Bowl, though they only lost to Oregon by one point. With Graham Mertz taking over as the starter in 2020, Coan was relegated to the bench, so it made sense that he would look to continue his collegiate career elsewhere, and Notre Dame football is a great landing spot.
His last time as a starter saw him lead the Badgers to 11 wins, be honorable mention All-Big Ten and become a leader on and off the field for the program. He is going to bring experience, talent, and a proven track record to an inexperienced quarterback room, and hopefully have even more success in South Bend.