What Recent Grad Transfer Quarterback History Says About Notre Dame Football Newcomer Jack Coan's 2021 Outlook
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What Recent Grad Transfer QB History Says About Jack Coan’s 2021 Outlook

Jack Coan didn’t transfer to Notre Dame to use his final year of eligibility on the bench.

If Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees’ praise of him is any indication, yes, he would accept a backup role and be a good teammate if he doesn’t earn Notre Dame’s quarterback job this season. But the 18-game starter at Wisconsin sought a new home that would give him a strong chance at playing time and put him in position to get NFL looks.

He decided Notre Dame offered the best path. Notre Dame decided he’s good enough to get the chance. And considering the Irish’s other four scholarship quarterbacks have attempted a total of seven passes, it’s hard not to see him as the favorite to start at this point. The history of graduate transfers like him supports it — and helps set some expectations.

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish football graduate transfer quarterback Jack Coan during his time at Wisconsin
Coan led Wisconsin to a 10-4 record and Big Ten West championship in 2019. (Darren Lee/Darren Lee Photography)

Starters on 10-win Power Five teams aren’t often available on the transfer market. Effective Power Five starters who transfer are a commodity, too. From 2015-20, there were 19 quarterbacks who took graduate transfers to Power Five teams after starting for at least one season (or nearly all of a season) at another Power Five school.

Most of them got the chance they wanted. Holding on to the job is the harder part. Fourteen of the 19 won the job as the opening-day starting quarterback for their new team. Nine kept it for the season, three lost it due to ineffectiveness and two ceded it after injury. As for the remaining five, four of them lost the preseason quarterback competition, and one opted out of the season.


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