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Brian Kelly says Tommy Rees will be his starter

By Tom Fornelli | Staff Writer

Tommy Rees seems to have won the nonexistent quarterback competition in South Bend
Tommy Rees seems to have won the nonexistent quarterback competition in South Bend. (USATSI)

The competition for the starting quarterback position at Notre Dame appears to be over before it ever really began.

While accepting an award in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Wednesday, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said that Tommy Rees would be the team's starting quarterback this fall.

“We always move forward,” Kelly told the Grand Rapids Press. “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.”

Notre Dame is in need of a new starting quarterback following the suspension of quarterback Everett Golson for the fall semester.

While many were expecting a competition to determine Golson's replacement, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that Rees is getting the job. Of the three Notre Dame quarterbacks, Rees has the most experience by far. He appeared in nine games for the Irish last season, and he's thrown for 4,413 yards, 34 touchdowns and 24 interceptions during the last three seasons.

Hendrix is the only other Irish quarterback to see the field, but he's thrown only 44 passes in his career and 24 of those came during a 28-14 loss to Stanford in 2011. As for Zaire, while highly touted, it just never made sense that Notre Dame would turn to a true freshman coming off a season in which the Irish played for the national championship.

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