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Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly names Jack Coan starting QB

Jack Coan will start at quarterback for Notre Dame when the Fighting Irish open the 2021 season Sept. 5 at Florida State.

A transfer from Wisconsin, Coan beat out redshirt freshman Drew Pyne and freshman Tyler Buchner in the bid to replace graduated starter Ian Book.

“All three quarterbacks distinguished themselves in the spring and preseason camp,” coach Brian Kelly tweeted Saturday. “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.”

A 6-foot-3 senior, Coan started 18 of the 25 games he appeared in with the Badgers. He broke his foot in the 2020 preseason camp and missed the season, and the Badgers transitioned to Graham Mertz as their starter.

At Wisconsin, Coan completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,278 yards, 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He had a 12-6 record as a starter, 8-3 in the Big Ten.

At Notre Dame, Coan has big shoes to fill.

Book, a fourth-round pick by the New Orleans Saints in the 2021 draft, was 30-5 as Notre Dame’s starter — the most wins ever by a Fighting Irish quarterback. In 2019, he became the first quarterback in Notre Dame history with at least 2,500 passing yards, 500 rushing yards and 30 touchdown passes in a season.

The Irish made the College Football Playoff last season and lost 31-14 to Alabama in one national semifinal. They finished with a 10-2 record and the No. 5 ranking in the final Associated Press poll.

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–Field Level Media