NOTRE DAME — On the eve of August pre-season camp, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly revealed that he was just as undecided about the quarterback race as he’s ever been.
Kelly met with the media for the first time since April’s spring scrimmage to talk about quarterbacks, position updates and emerging leaders on the roster.
Even though Kelly couldn’t work with the players directly during their summer workouts, he had reports and general off-field observations to work with.
“I didn’t learn as much about the quarterbacks from what they did from a football standpoint,” he said.” I was around here a lot and saw a focused group of players at that position. They were doing a lot of film study on their own. They’re a group of guys that know that’s a position that requires a great deal of attention to detail.”
As for his starter against the Navy, Kelly says that remains to be determined based on performance in camp. He hinted that he had an inkling for who might win the job between Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson and Gunner Kiel.
But when he was pressed, Kelly refused to share his thoughts.
“An idea is all I have, he said. “I have an idea, but we have to see how this plays out.”
Kelly also hasn’t dismissed the possibility of two quarterbacks sharing the brunt against Navy, though he said he’d rather have one.
He said if the starter against Navy performs well enough, he could very likely be the starter the rest of the year.
Kelly plans on splitting reps fairly evenly between Golson, Hendrix and Kiel at first. He said Tommy Rees, who is suspended for the Navy game, will also get his share of reps. As camp progresses, he hopes a clear leader will emerge.
“Ultimately, we want to be able to give the quarterback for Navy a lot of reps heading into the game,” he said. “We have to be able to evaluate them based on what they did this summer and start to close in on what that pecking order is.”
Kelly has no clear timeline for naming a starting quarterback. In an ideal world, he said, he’d know within a week.
By comparison, Kelly ended last year’s quarterback drama by naming Dayne Crist the starter on the first day of classes, which was Aug. 23.