There's been a lot of talk about the present QB situation with Buchner and Pyne and the future of QB with 5 stars like Moore and Carr in the picture. Buchner is likely to win out for '22, but every comment and article I've read always throws in the idea of Pyne eventually belly dancing his way into some key reps throughout the season. It could be from ineffectiveness from TB12 in a close game or an injury that hands Drew the reigns. Pyne is definitely penned in to be the backup and so it's natural to opine about those what ifs and whether DP can thrust himself into the halls of the unheralded heroes of ND QB-Dom. Could Pyne be the next Ian Book, Tom(my) Reese, or even Matt LoVecchio?
Meanwhile, in the Legion of Doom, Dante Moore is waiting on a skinned elephant hide to make his Alabama teaser throne and CJ Carr is pissing on Bo Schemblecher's and Fielding Yost's graves by even entertaining Notre Dame as his future home. In the eyes of many, it would be a true renaissance to get either one. People would have to start taking ND seriously if we could FINALLY get an Elite QB like them. National Titles and NIL deals would rain down like golden showers over the program. However, let's look at these two scenarios through the prism of ND football over the last 2 decades. Yes, it's a dark and gloomy prism to look through, but self flagellation is good for the soul and the complexion.
First, the 5 star QBs. Moore and Carr are super talented, but so was Phil Jurkovec, Gunner Kiel, Dayne Crist and Jimmy Clausen. Guess what those guys have in common? They were all 5 stars (in Jurkovec's case, he was before the conspiracy machine knocked him down a Meltzer rating). Guess what else? They all left us wanting.
While Jesus Clausen had the stats that made you think he could be the second coming of Joe Theisman, he also had the saddest of records as a starter (14-17). Take away the abysmal 07 season and he still went 13-12. It's not all of his fault, but he did have some great tools. While he maximized those tools in the stats column, it never materialized in the Win Column.
Dayne "Trying To Hard With That Last Name" Crist's commitment made it look like ND had turned a corner in recruiting. Two 5 Stars in consecutive classes. That's Urban Meyer impressive without the Urban Meyer cheating. We all know how Crist turned out. Injuries and untimely mistakes in crucial situations derailed him and he found himself replaced by a 3 star QB in Tommy "Terrific/Turnover" Rees"us". Seriously, this guy had two torn ACLs in back-to-back seasons, got his eye poked and had so many worst timed turnovers that Brian Kelly invented a new color. He ended up in Kansas with his former coach, which sounds like the setting of a Cormack McCarthy story.
Gunner "Hole in My Soul" Kiel was a HUGE 5 star get because we got him from a major SEC program. Not only did we have a 5 star (albeit one lacking a chest according to Leslie "Grass and Ass" Miles), but he was an SEC 5 Star. That's on another level. Ohhhhh, he also was the nephew of former superstar recruit and ND starter Blair Kiel. It was the perfect story. He never took a snap for ND, transferring out just before the starting job came open for the Irish due to Golson's suspension. Ouch.
Phil "Would've Won the Natty in '19" Jurkovec was finally the real deal (and was a 5 star at the time of commitment). PJ had the height, the stats and he was from Pennsylvania! Great ND QBs Joe Montana, Johnny Lujack, Tom Clements, Terry Hanratty and Freakin' Ron Powlus was from there. He did get to play in some games, but never started and is now playing with other Catholic school's balls. His departure caused much consternation among a select group of ND faithful, mainly because of ND relying on an unheralded yet competent QB in Ian Book instead.
That leads us to the next part of the story. Drew Pyne has had some Book comparisons. Even before he got here, I heard people say he was a Book clone. He's not very tall, got a lower ranking than he probably deserves and he's scrappy with a little swagger. Can he swoop in and be the next great underdog QB like Book or LoVecchio? Perhaps he at least offers quality support like Rees in 2012? Take a look at what he accomplished in 2021 and there is a comparison to be made, but it's not with these QBs:
In 2002, ND was struggling offensively and in a dog fight with a Big Ten mid tier power house in Michigan State. Carlyle Holiday went down late in the 3rd quarter and the Irish turned to unheralded Pat Dillingham in the 4th quarter. Despite some lackluster drives early on, he eventually lead ND to a remarkable win that was mostly because of a good Defense and some great route running by receiver Arnez Battle. ND's undefeated season continued with Dillingham checking in from time to time as needed. Eventually, he would be called upon against BC and pooped the bed at home with a Title Opportunity on the line. He was never heard from again.
Drew Pyne played a gritty game against Wisconsin and played wannabe hero against Cincy (TB actually pooped the bed in the first half in that one). However, he never looked (and still doesn't based on the spring game and the blips we've seen from the other practices) like a future star or even that feel good underdog story like Book. He's Pat Dillingham. He can throw a crossing pattern in a crucial part of the game that the receiver turns into a miracle play. Ask him to lead an entire game, and he will struggle mightily against anyone not named 2002 Stanford (Dillingham looked like Beano Cook's erotic dream of Ron Powlus in that one). It's just not going to happen.
That leads us to Steve Angeli "Eyes". He has the mystique of nobody seeing him play. He is somebody that nobody is seriously considering as the future for ND. He's just highly rated enough to be considered good but 60% of the Irish fan base would reject him as starter. If and when he becomes the starter, people will wail that he is running off the 5 Stars with his competent 10+ win per season QB play. Plus he's from New Jersey. Nothing good comes out of that cesspool (Wimbush, LoVecchio, Theisman).
If ND has a tits up kind of moment this season, many are expecting Drew Pyne to slide in. That likely will be the case. He may even wow for a play or two a la last year. Inevitably, though, his Dillinghamness will be as exposed as his Dunkin' Donuts addiction in the Spring Game for all to see and the Irish will turn to our true savior: Steve "I work in waste management" Angeli (seriously, the kids dead eye stare and quaffed hair makes him look like an extra in Goodfellas). Will he lead ND to the mountain top we so richly covet? Who knows? Probably not? Nick Saban has to descend back to hell before anyone can guarantee such things. But neither will Dante Kiel Moore or CJ Crist Carr. And Dillingham Pyne is right out. So put your faith in Angeli's Eyes and let's murder - I mean conflict resolution - our way through the competition this season.
I meant to write this as a satire of the state of QB situation at ND over the last 2 decaces, but the more I read about this subject, the more I think this might be the truth. Strange I know, but the truth is often stranger than fiction. Also, Brady Quinn's success at ND (highly rated/great results on the field) is something I appreciate more and more with each passing season. Let's hope Tyler Buchner can be more like Brady Quinn. Wouldn't that be a better story than this "As I Lay Dying" article I just wrote?