Transfer turnabout: Notre Dame quarterback Drew Pyne enters the portal

Mike Berardino
ND Insider
Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman, left, talks to quarterback Drew Pyne after they scored a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

SOUTH BEND —Four weeks after helping Notre Dame upset Clemson on a career-defining night, Drew Pyne is moving on.

Rather than wait around for another offseason quarterback competition, Pyne announced Friday via social media that he is entering the transfer portal. Despite going 8-2 as the starter after stepping in for the injured Tyler Buchner, Pyne read the tea leaves and opted for preemptive action.

“One of my proudest honors is to have been a student-athlete at the University of Notre Dame,” Pyne wrote on his Instagram account. “I have been blessed to be among great coaches and teachers and play with teammates I consider brothers. Our bonds will be lifelong.

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“Now, it’s time for me to take on a new challenge, and I will be entering the transfer portal. While I’m excited about what lies ahead, I want to thank the entire Notre Dame community for their support. I am forever grateful for the experience and memories.”

Pyne has three seasons of eligibility remaining, thanks to the 2020 COVID bonus year, when he redshirted. Lightly regarded as a three-star recruit out of New Canaan, Conn., Pyne ranks 20th nationally in passer efficiency this season.

Though lacking in size and arm strength, Pyne showed advanced leadership and decision-making qualities in passing for more than 2,000 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was intercepted six times and his 8.0 yards per attempt tied him for 38th.

Buchner, who also has three seasons of future eligibility after being sidelined in Week 2, had accelerated his rehab process after September surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder. Originally projected to be out until mid-January, Buchner now figures to see meaningful action in whatever bowl lands Notre Dame (8-4) this Sunday.

Freshman Steve Angeli, who has taken just seven snaps all season, also moves up the depth chart as Notre Dame shops the crowded transfer portal for proven quarterback help.

Former Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara has already landed at Iowa after entering the portal this week. Also among the ever-growing list of quarterbacks in play are former Virginia left-hander Brennan Armstrong, a former three-star recruit from Ohio who struggled this fall; ex-Notre Dame backup and Boston College starter Phil Jurkovec; as well as Connor Bazelak (Indiana).

With Pyne bowing out, No. 21 Notre Dame also is expected to be without a pair of projected NFL draft picks, tight end Michael Mayer and defensive end Isaiah Foskey, for the bowl game.

Safety Brandon Joseph, who battled a high ankle sprain throughout November, and left guard Jarrett Patterson, slowed since August by a sprained foot, could choose to opt-out of the bowl as well in order to prepare for the NFL draft process.

Follow Notre Dame football writer Mike Berardino on Twitter @MikeBerardino.