Notre Dame's Jack Coan faces a path similar to one followed by Russell Wilson, Justin Fields and ...

ByBrianna Williams ESPN logo
Friday, September 24, 2021

On Saturday, transfer quarterback Jack Coan will have the opportunity to reunite with friends and his former coaches when No. 12 Notre Dame faces his old team, No. 18 Wisconsin.

Before replacing Notre Dame's all-time-winningest quarterback, Ian Book, Coan went 12-6 as a starter for the Badgers.

"It's definitely going to be weird," Coan said. "It's going to be a lot of my friends I'm going to be playing against, guys I still talk to today. But at the end of the day, it's just another football game, and I like to think I won't get more excited for one game than the next."

While Coan feels "weird" about the upcoming matchup against his previous team, he shares a path with other former Power 5 quarterbacks who faced similar scenarios.

Russell Wilson, WisconsinOriginal School: NC State

Wilson was a three-year starter for the NC State Wolfpack before becoming a Wisconsin Badger.

As a senior, he led the Badgers to the Big Ten championship and a 2012 Rose Bowl appearance. He completed a career-best 72.8% of his passes, threw for a career-high 33 touchdown passes and a career-low four interceptions.

Baker Mayfield, OklahomaOriginal School: Texas Tech

Mayfield had arguably one of the most successful college football walk-on careers -- twice. As a Texas Tech Red Raider,he passed for 2,315 yards and 12 touchdowns, earning Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors.

The following year, he once again found himself as a walk-on. At OU, Mayfield never missed a chance to beef with his old team -- and never lost to Texas Tech. In all, Mayfield earned All-Big 12 honors in his three seasons with the Oklahoma Sooners, passing for 12,292 yards and 119 touchdowns. As a cherry on top, Mayfield won the 2017 Heisman Trophy and was drafted No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Browns.

Kyler Murray, OklahomaOriginal School: Texas A&M

As the son of a former Texas A&M quarterback (Kevin Murray), Kyler followed in his father's footsteps and signed with his father's alma mater. In his freshman year, Murray, a five-star prospect, started two games when then-starter Kyle Allen was out with a shoulder injury.

He transferred to Oklahoma the following year and sat out for a season before serving as Baker Mayfield's backup in 2017.

Murray passed for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns and won the Heisman Trophy in his only season as the Sooners' starting quarterback.

He later became the first player chosen in the first round of both the MLB and NFL drafts, as he was selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics and first overall by the Arizona Cardinals.

Jalen Hurts, OklahomaOriginal School: Alabama

In Hurts' freshman year with Alabama, he was the SEC player of the year and led them to the College Football Playoff National Championship game. He continued his impressive showing as a sophomore with 2,081 yards and 17 TDs and once again led Bama to the title game; however, he was benched at halftime of the 2017 national title game against Georgia. In his final year with the Crimson Tide, he served as a backup but led the team to victory in the SEC title game and the playoff after Tua Tagovailoa exited with an injury.

As an Oklahoma Sooner, he threw for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns and once again appeared in the College Football Playoff. He also finished as runner-up for the 2019 Heisman Trophy.

Joe Burrow, LSUOriginal School: Ohio State

Burrow spent three seasons as a Buckeye, spending time behind Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett before losing the race for the starting role to then-freshman Dwayne Haskins and deciding to transfer.

It was rumored the Ohio's 2014 Mr. Football would stay within the state, possibly going to Cincinnati or Nebraska -- where his father and brothers played.

He went on to become Joe "Burreaux" in Death Valley, leading the LSU Tigersto a 15-0 record and winning both the national title and Heisman trophy. He returned home to Ohio as the first overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2020 NFL draft.

Justin Fields, Ohio StateOriginal School: Georgia

Fields, a Georgia native, sat behind Jake Fromm for a season at his home-state school.

One year after Burrow transferred from Ohio State to LSU, Fields left the Bulldogs and became a Buckeye.

In 2019, he led the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record, a Big Ten championship and Fiesta Bowl semifinal. Fields also finished third place in Heisman voting, behind Burrow and Hurts.

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