Elite 11 Preview: What To Watch For With Tyler Buchner
Monday afternoon kicks off the Elite 11 Finals, and La Mesa (Calif.) Helix Charter quarterback and Notre Dame commit Tyler Buchner will hope to claim MVP honors following the three-day event.
Below are a few things to watch for as BlueandGold.com’s Mike Singer provides live, daily coverage.
How Does He Stack Up?
How Buchner performs in a T-shirt and shorts with very little organized throwing sessions over the past several months due to the pandemic won’t make or break how he should be viewed as a prospect.
This is an opportunity for young quarterbacks to get better and compete on a big stage. Unless Buchner just goes out there and completely stinks it up, there shouldn’t be any minds changed about Buchner as a player.
His junior tape speaks for itself, and he already had strong performances at the Rivals Camp Series and Elite 11 Regionals in Los Angeles earlier this year.
Still, it is an opportunity to see how Buchner stacks up against other top prospects. Of the 20 quarterbacks in the 2020 Elite 11 Finals, 16 of them are already committed to Power Five schools. Auburn, Baylor, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas Tech, and USC will all have quarterbacks represented.
Rivals ranks Buchner as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback and No. 46 overall prospect in America. The No. 1 dual-threat quarterback, five-star Caleb Williams, will also participate in the event.
Including Williams, there are four quarterbacks currently ranked higher nationally per Rivals who Buchner will compete with. Those prospects are Brock Vandagriff (No. 5), Kyle McCord (No. 26) and J.J. McCarthy (No. 33).
Representing Notre Dame
A handful of the nation’s top programs will be represented in Nashville at the Elite 11, including the three Midwest powers — Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State. Both of those programs’ quarterback commits are ranked higher than Buchner (McCord and McCarthy).
Not only will this be a great opportunity for Buchner to shine on a national stage compared to his counterparts, it will be a chance to recruit other top players with his actions, not his words.
Notre Dame is looking to add another talented wide receiver or two in the 2021 class, and those recruits will surely be on social media the next few days and will see clips of Buchner at the Elite 11.
It Is hard to succeed as a wide receiver if you don’t have a talented quarterback to catch passes from. A big part of Buchner’s game is what he is able to do when the pocket collapses and he makes impromptu plays, but that's not on display at an event like this. But Buchner is more than capable of being named Elite 11 MVP with his arm talent and accuracy.
Below are highlights and analysis from Buchner’s performance at the Rivals Camp Series stop in Los Angeles earlier this year.
Elite 11 Alumni
It would be too long of a list to type out all of the top alumni in the Elite 11 Finals over the past 21 years.
Twelve of the past 13 quarterbacks to have won the Heisman Trophy attended the Elite 11 Finals or an Elite 11 Regional.
Some of the most notable alumni includes Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints), Teddy Bridgewater (Carolina Panthers), Andrew Luck (retired), Carson Palmer (retired), Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers), Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) and Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions).
Some of the top current college quarterbacks who competed in the Elite 11 Finals includes Sam Howell (UNC), Bo Nix (Auburn), Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Justin Fields (Ohio State), Jake Fromm (Georgia), Mac Jones (Alabama) and Jamie Newman (Georgia).
There have been a handful of Notre Dame quarterbacks in the event over the years as well.
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