At Notre Dame, football is the center of attention 24/7. It doesn’t matter what the outlook is for the upcoming season — the fans eat, breathe and sleep Irish pigskin.
This offseason, there’s even this tiny quarterback controversy thing that has kept everyone
foaming at the mouth riveted.
Here are the four candidates for the starting quarterback position in the fall:
Tommy Rees – Rees is the incumbent starter. A one-hundred percent pocket passer, he is a true junior and sports a 12-4 record at the helm. But while that makes him sound like a shoo-in based on experience, he has been plagued by serious turnover troubles in the past. Still, in the current hierarchy, it’s his job to lose.
Andrew Hendrix – Hendrix will enter this season as a redshirt sophomore. He is a quarterback meant for the spread, combining a very strong arm with above-average mobility. Having played in the system for several years, and having seen the field several times near the end of last season, he is comfortable stepping in and leading the team.
Everett Golson – Golson, a redshirt freshman, is the real wild card in the race. While his biggest asset may be his elite athleticism, he is very much a passing quarterback, throwing the sixth-most touchdown passes in American high school football history. The question marks on Golson are his size (he is very generously listed at 6-feet and 185 lbs), his command of the playbook, and his ability to direct the team (get them lined up properly, analyze plays pre-snap, etc.) like a true leader.
Gunner Kiel – Kiel, the nephew of former Notre Dame QB Blair Kiel, was the number one pro-style quarterback recruit in the country last year, and early-enrolled for the Irish this spring. He looks the part at 6-foot-4, 220 lbs, but it may be asking too much of a true freshman to step right in and win.
Where do they stand?
Though four candidates are listed above, it’s really a three horse race. Based purely on his youth and inexperience, Gunner Kiel can be eliminated from the competition.