Notre Dame Spring Game: QB Competition Will Overshadow Blue-Gold Game
The annual Blue-Gold game in South Bend gives Notre Dame players a final chance to make a lasting impression on their Irish coaching staff before they take leave for the summer.
Jobs can be won and lost on the last Saturday of the spring session. Every player is out there to work his tail off, hoping to shine brighter than their teammates.
This year, there is one position looming above all others, with four players vying for the same spot.
Naturally, that position is quarterback and the competition is far from over.
Incumbent Tommy Rees has the inside track and will more than likely be the starter when the Irish trek to Ireland to take on Navy. He's started 16 games in the system, has the knowledge and command coach Brian Kelly is looking for, but he almost always leaves something to be desired.
That is why we saw a bit of Andrew Hendrix last season and it is quite obvious that Kelly has a liking for the more athletic signal-caller. He appeared in four games last season, but played extended time in the loss to Stanford.
He's an intriguing option who fits Kelly's system well.
The dark horse here is Everett Golson, a fan favorite with unique athleticism for the position.
He has a long way to go as a quarterback and decision maker, though, and that could remove him from the race when all is said and done.
The same can be said of highly-touted freshman Gunner Kiel. The youngster made quite a few headlines with his two decommitments and early enrollment at Notre Dame, but only because there is a ton of potential in his arm.
Expecting him to not only grasp the offense, but command it as well, is a tall task even for a kid with his upside. It is highly possible that Kelly saves a year of his eligibility with a redshirt this season.
There will be more than a few fans displeased with that option, though, and that is part of the problem.
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With so many options—popular options, at that—people are bound to be overexcited now and disappointed later.
Kelly's gift of four capable quarterbacks is also a curse. It is going to overshadow all others over the rest of this spring and will continue to do so until the coach makes a decision.
Even then, it won't be over; especially if the Irish struggle.
The best thing that can happen in South Bend is for one of the quarterbacks to step up and take control. Until that happens, this program will be overshadowed by who its next quarterback is going to be.
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