When Alabama Football dipped into the transfer portal and grabbed Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner after spring practice had already concluded, much of the fan base was perplexed. The rest of the college football world took the move as a sign that the Crimson Tide was vulnerable.
At the time, Alabama fans were still trying to process the mostly-underwhelming performances of quarterbacks Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson in the A-Day game. Suddenly, another name was being thrown into what was already perceived as a neck-and-neck QB competition.
So where exactly does Buchner fit into the Alabama quarterback battle?
The general consensus is that Tyler Buchner is a long shot to actually win the starting quarterback job this fall. Regardless of talent and ability, it seems that he entered the program too late in the offseason to overtake Milroe and Simpson, who had already been working in the system for two years and one year respectively.
Buchner’s relationship with Alabama offensive coordinator (and former Notre Dame offensive coordinator) Tommy Rees likely made the transition a little bit smoother, but Alabama Football is a totally different animal that both Rees and Buchner have had to adapt to.
Though he’s far from perfect and has been turnover-prone in the past, Tyler Buchner has shown flashes of promise, much like Bama’s other young quarterbacks. Just a redshirt sophomore, he already has significant starting experience in major college football under his belt. The former 4-star recruit from San Diego, California has three years of eligibility to make his mark in Tuscaloosa.
Buchner brings a lot of value to the Alabama Football team, even if it’s unlikely that he starts in 2023. He gives the Tide experienced depth at quarterback, perhaps ensuring that Bama will not have to utilize its two true freshman quarterbacks that came in the class of 2023.
In theory, Tyler Buchner has served to push Ty Simpson and Jalen Milroe throughout this offseason, hopefully making both players better in the process.
Buchner could also make an impact beyond this year. In the modern age of the NCAA transfer portal, it’s hard to predict what the Alabama QB room could look like in 2024 or 2025. If Buchner is playing the long game, he could compete for the job in the future.
Alabama only added five transfers this offseason, and each one offers a unique contribution. Even if Tyler Buchner doesn’t throw a pass this season, there is a good chance he has helped to improve the quarterback position at Alabama.