Brian Kelly did not wait for the perfunctory camp battle. He informed a crowd in Grand Rapids yesterday that Tommy Rees would be the starting quarterback in the wake of Everett Golson’s departure. Senior Andrew Hendrix and freshman Malik Zaire may “contribute” in a change of pace role.
“We always move forward,” Kelly said. “I don’t live in the past, and I don’t spend too much time in the future. I live in the present, and in the present, we have Tommy Rees. We have Tommy Rees, who is an established player, and he will be our starter. We think Andrew Hendrix and Malik Zaire can contribute, but Tommy will be our starter.”
The announcement was not unexpected. It’s hard to turn away from the senior with 18 career starts in a bind. The issue is not replicating production from quarterback – Golson was merely decent last season – but who will make plays?
Notre Dame has no Michael Floyd or Tyler Eifert who can just out-talent defenders down field (or at least no proven one). They lose a lot of experience at tailback. The hope was Golson would progress in season two, producing moments like this more consistently.
The Irish were 80th in scoring offense in 2012, largely the result of ranking 112th in red zone TD percentage. That was with Eifert and Golson. A further decline would be…bleak.
[Photo via USA Today Sports]