News spread pretty quickly that the quarterback who started the majority of the games for Notre Dame this past season was arrested early Thursday morning. Police busted a party off campus and Tommy Rees, 19, tried hopping a fence to avoid getting into trouble. Unfortunately for him, an officer caught up to him and things got even worse.
The laundry list of charges adds up to four. In addition to drinking underage, he was ticketed for public intoxication, resisting law enforcement and felony battery to law enforcement. The school will wait for more details before making any comments worth listening to. That being said, it’s likely Rees won’t be the guy taking the first snap when the Fighting Irish line up against Navy on September 1.
The first name that comes to mind is the freshman from Columbus, Indiana, Gunner Kiel. Kiel was rated the best “pro-style” quarterback by rivals.com. He committed to a couple different schools before landing in South Bend. Kiel reportedly liked his chances of competing for a job and that was before the incumbent was arrested. As Patrick Sheehan pointed out, Everett Golson won’t let the newcomer take the job without a fight.
Comparing Kiel and Golson using rivals.com, it’s pretty obvious who the more highly touted player is. Not only was Kiel one of just 32 players to receive a 5-star rating, he cracked the top-20 list of overall players for the 2012 class. Golson, meanwhile, had a 3-star rating in2011, and ranked as the16th dual-threat quarterback. Golson provides a mobility, but he’s four inches shorter than Kiel.
Last year, Rees threw for 2700 yards while completing 65 percent of his passes. He tossed 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The school may not be part of the Big 10 conference, but because of its location as well as its schedule (they play three teams from the B1G) it’s a good point of comparison. He would have ranked fourth in yards and tied for the same spot in passing touchdowns. Two of the players that are ahead of him in both categories were drafted last week (Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson), so he stacks up pretty well.
Looking at the negatives, besides the issues he faces with the law, is that his number one target will be across the field from Larry Fitzgerald next season. Michael Floyd was without question the top target for Irish QBs in 2011. His 100 catches were 37 more than the next player on the team. He had nearly the amount of yard as the two players behind him combined. He had 9-of-21 touchdown catches the team had.
Whoever gets the job will have to rely on what is there and what is coming in rather than worrying about who isn’t there anymore. Tight end, Tyler Eifert, was a popular target in the spring game and that won’t change when the season starts. Head Coach Brian Kelly likes to spread the field and there is a lot of competition going on for playing time at wideout. Most eyes, though, will be on the guy throwing the pigskin, not the ones catching it.
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