Andrew Hendrix: Vital Part of One-Two Irish Punch, or Decoy for Film Watchers?

Tim StareContributor IINovember 9, 2011

Andrew Hendrix vs. USC
Andrew Hendrix vs. USCJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I want to ask you, my fellow BR readers and writers, if the thought has crossed your minds—as it has mine—that Andrew Hendrix's significant playing time in the Air Force game was little more than an orchestrated move on Brian Kelly's part to give USC one more thing to think about as they prepared to play the Irish, rather than being the first installment of what could ultimately be an interesting tandem at QB, given more time to develop. 

I ask this because, despite a great performance in the Air Force game, Hendrix has been virtually invisible since.

He took few snaps in the USC game.  And again, versus Navy—even with a score so lopsided that even Farley Hall's backup QB could have gone in under center and not done too much damage to the Irish's chances in the fourth quarter—it was Tommy Rees all the way to nearly the end of the game, with no Hendrix in sight.

Again, maybe he did get a snap or two that I don't recall, but nothing as significant as it could have been.

Kelly said that he has been waiting for the right opportunity for Hendrix to run his package.  Really, B.K.?  A thirty-five or forty-point lead is not the right opportunity?

Not seeing any significant time for Hendrix in the Navy game on top of the USC game—or against Wake Forest—leads me to suspect that he was inserted in the Air Force game merely to distract USC from focusing in solely on Rees at QB in preparation for their October 22nd matchup with the Irish.

I am not now and never have been a football coach, so I may be way off base and reading too much into this.  But Hendrix has shown some spark and good judgement during what playing time he has been given to date, and has earned an opportunity to show us some more of what he can do when the situation allows.

I will admit to a little bias, as he is part of a housing arrangement with my son in a dorm at ND, and he is a really, really nice kid.  But that aside, I would feel the same if this were not the case.

Everett Golson is obviously being red-shirted, Dayne Crist—a class act himself—is pretty much a part of the past and Rees is the number one guy at the moment.  But as injuries against Wake Forest show us, this can change in a hurry.

And even if Crist is officially number two, I think Hendrix should be given every opportunity to play—whenever possible—if for no other reason than to help him get his legs for the spring and summer QB competition next year.

His play, when called upon, has earned him that much.