With its all-time winningest quarterback headed to the NFL, Notre Dame lacked any starting experience behind center moving into 2021 until former Wisconsin passer Jack Coan changed that Monday evening.
The graduate transfer started 18 games between 2018 and 2019 before a broken foot cost him the 2020 season. He led the Badgers to a 10-4 appearance in the Rose Bowl in 2019, completing 69.6 percent of his passes for 2,727 yards and 18 touchdowns with only five interceptions. Forced to the sideline in 2020’s preseason, Coan could do nothing but watch as sophomore Graham Mertz rose to the occasion.
Coan has one year of eligibility remaining, possibly a needed one for the Irish. Describing him as a “stopgap” is as diminutive as referring to any quarterback as a “game manager” — sometimes a fact would go unfulfilled if not for a particular player — but that does not change the reality of Coan likely becoming a one-year starter sandwiched between a pair of prolific Notre Dame passers.