Whether it was a slip-up or a nod to the most logical conclusion, Brian Kelly evidently didn’t need summer and preseason camp to name his starting quarterback.
Tommy Rees will be the Notre Dame starter in 2013, Kelly said during an event in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Wednesday.
Kelly and his wife, Paqui, were honored with a Grand Valley State Leadership Award during the school’s annual Enrichment Dinner in Grand Rapids on Wednesday. A reporter from the Grand Rapids Press asked the Irish coach to parse his quarterback situation with incumbent starter Everett Golson on an academic-related suspension this season.
“Everett won’t be with us in the fall, so I’ve always moved forward,” Kelly said. “I don’t live in the past, I don’t spent too much time in the future, I live in the present. And the present is, I’ve got Tommy Rees, who was a starter for us, established player, and he’ll be our starter. And we think that Andrew Hendrix and Malik Zaire are guys that can contribute. But Tommy will be our starter.”
The Tribune verified Kelly’s statement via an audio clip of the question-and-answer sent by the Grand Rapids Press.
It should come as absolutely no surprise, really, as Rees will be a senior with 18 career starts and more than 4,000 yards passing under his belt when the 2013 season opens. Hendrix has seen occasional duty in his Notre Dame career but never carried the load exclusively, and Zaire is a true freshman who arrived as an early enrollee in January.
Golson led the Irish to the BCS championship game but confirmed in late May that he has been suspended for the fall semester. Golson said he intends to return to Notre Dame.