Former Sayville star quarterback Jack Coan will play his final year of college football for Notre Dame.
The Wisconsin graduate had entered the NCAA transfer portal less than 24 hours after the Badgers' 20-17 overtime win over Minnesota in the Big Ten season finale on Dec. 19.
And in less than a month, Coan, who juggled multiple Division I offers, made an informed decision on where to play his final season.
"It’s always been a dream of mine to play at Notre Dame," said Coan, who verbally committed as a high school freshman to play lacrosse there. "This is a great opportunity. There were other big schools interested and I’d built relationships with those coaches over the past few weeks, but Notre Dame feels so right. My family and I wanted to announce the decision."
Notre Dame is scheduled to play Wisconsin on Sept. 25 at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The 6-3, 221-pound senior had high expectations heading into the 2020 season and was named to the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien Award watch lists. Then he suffered a broken foot during fall camp and had surgery in early October. He was available for the Badgers’ final three games but did not play.
"It was just a freak injury and awful timing," Coan said. "I worked hard to get back before the end of the season."
As a junior, Coan had one of the most efficient seasons by a quarterback in Wisconsin history, leading the Badgers to a 10-4 record, a Big Ten West Division title and a Rose Bowl berth. He completed 69% of his passes for 2,727 yards and 18 touchdowns, throwing only five interceptions.
He spent the last few weeks poring over depth charts, pass-to-run percentages, returning offensive linemen, wide receivers and tight ends at every school that showed serious interest.
"He left no stone unturned and knew exactly what he wanted in a school," said former Sayville football coach Rob Hoss, who trains with Coan in the offseason. "Strength of schedule was important to him. And in the end, it all came back to play at Notre Dame."
Coan said he’s already started training to be ready for camp.
"My foot is fully healed and I’m working out with Coach Hoss and Justin Kull at Revolution Athletics as much as I can," he said. "I feel great and I can’t wait to get started."
Hoss said he’s seen a huge boost in Coan’s confidence in his footwork.
"I’m pushing him in very aggressive workouts with the footwork," Hoss said. "We pounded it pretty good to show him he was healthy."
Notre Dame (10-2) earned a spot in the College Football Playoff and lost to Alabama, 31-14, in a semifinal game in the Rose Bowl.
The Fighting Irish will open the 2021 season on the road at Florida State on Sept. 5.
Coan, who graduated from Wisconsin a month ago with his bachelor’s degree in real estate, reiterated his love for the Badgers' program.
"I’m not thinking about that [Notre Dame-Wisconsin game] right now because that’ll be a little weird," he said, laughing. "I loved Wisconsin. It was the experience of a lifetime. I’m moving on to another challenge and it’s so exciting."
Hoss said it’s classic Coan to be able to embrace a program and leave with mutual respect.
"It’ll be emotional for Jack," Hoss said. "There is a mutual love between him and the coaches and his teammates. That city treated him well and vice versa. But once he gets on the field, he’s the consummate competitor and it’ll be all about Notre Dame."