At every step of his decade at Notre Dame, Tommy Rees provided stability otherwise lacking Where Notre Dame Was & Is: Tight ends, moving on from an all-time great Where Notre Dame Was & Is: Running backs, led by a familiar ‘three-headed monster’ Lengthy Texas cornerback joins Notre Dame class of 2024 Reports: Tommy Rees heads to Alabama after 10 total years at Notre Dame
He was a three-star quarterback from the Chicago suburbs and received scholarships from only two other Power-Five programs. The head coach who hired him was fired.
And then Notre Dame needed a rookie quarterback to start against a top 15 team and try to play the season under .500. Tommy Rhys made three touchdown passes to upset No. 15 Utah. He completed 13 passes out of 20 to avoid any obvious errors, which immediately turned 180 degrees from how the previous week ended when Rhys replaced an injured player. The Irishman didn’t want to lean too much on him, only 129 passing yards from here, but he managed.
“All that was in our game plan was that you have to run the football, we have to be high percentage on our shots and not put Tommy in too many positions where we could flip the ball.” This was stated by the head coach of Notre Dame Brian Kelly. in November 2010. “I wasn’t going to bet that game on Tommy Rees.”
Kelly delivered many games to Tommy Rhys over time. Early on, however, he continued to rely on Irish ground play to knock out a four-game winning streak and turn a 4–5 debut season into an 8–5 finish with overwhelming momentum. Notre Dame fired 144 times in those four games, compared to 106 misses (including sacks).
RELATED READING: 30 Years of Notre Dame on NBC: Tommy Rees’ First Career Start, Exaggerated Frustration
Most notably, the winning drive at USC featured five rushes and just two passes, and with just two minutes to go, the Irish took their first victory at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 2000.
Kelly returned to Dani Crist to start the 2011 season and quickly switched to Rhys just halfway through. In 2012, Kelly turned to Reece at a critical juncture to support a freshman quarterback. Everett Golson. Then, when Golson was sidelined for the 2013 season, Rhys was once again thrown into chaos and pulled Notre Dame into a respectable season, not a lost one in every sense.
At every stage of his playing career, Rhys has provided the Irish with stability when it was otherwise lacking. He would do it again in the last six years as an assistant coach.
First, he showed up expecting to be the 10th assistant coach, but the NCAA delayed that rollout, forcing Rees to become a graduate assistant while adding coursework to his workload and removing his ability to coach Irish quarterbacks in practice.
Then in 2018, he launched a thin quarterback shift needle in the middle of the season, even though Notre Dame went undefeated in a game. Keeping both Brandon Wimbush And Jan Book teamwork and advancement propelled the Irish into the college football playoffs, in direct counterbalance to the quarterback debacle that derailed the 2016 season. Doing this under the tutelage of an irascible offensive coordinator who has continued to burn his way out of successive coaching positions makes the players’ relationship that much more impressive.
When Chip Long was fired after the 2019 season, Reece took credit for the high-profile — and decently unexpected — Iowa State Choke at the Camping World Bowl.
Clearly, 2020 has brought instability to everyone in every industry, college football included. Reece’s offense averaged 6.2 yards per game, Kelly’s fourth most explosive offense in 11 years at Notre Dame.
In 2021, Rees worked with three quarterbacks to keep the Irish in the playoffs. Again, his ability to maintain the mentality of the most important position in college football was key to Notre Dame’s success, especially as the head coach appeared to be actively planning his departure from South Bend. Of course, Kelly’s sudden departure gave Rhys the biggest platform of his Irish career to keep the program alive, ensure stability and secure its future.
When Reese turned down Kelly LSU’s offer, “I [bleepin’] stayed,” Reese said of his grievance – he eased Freeman’s learning curve in his freshman year considerably. The former defense coordinator knew what kind of attack would be carried out in 2022, and that he did not need to worry about it much. For the second consecutive stint as head coach of Ireland, Reece led the end-of-season surge, potentially setting the tone for his first few seasons.
RELATED READING: Tommy Rhys drops Brian Kelly’s LSU overture and stays at Notre Dame
Jack Swarbrick, Marcus Freeman and Tommy Reese brought stability to Notre Dame long before and apparently after Brian Kelly wreaked havoc.
Literally every 10 years spent in Notre Dame, Rhys sailed through troubled waters.
He turned Ian Book into an NFL quarterback who could win the Super Bowl ring this weekend. He won eight games with Drew Pine like its starter. It may not be praise for a “whispering quarterback,” but achieving success with a talent as dubious as it once was proved Rhys’ integrity enough to make the greatest coach in college football history call.
Obviously, this is because some Notre Dame fans are offended that Tommy Reese will leave *his alma mater* for the sake of “moving to the side.” Leaving aside the inaccuracy of calling it sideways, why should it be expected to stay in ND? Where does this duty come from?
— Douglas Farmer (@D_Farmer) February 5, 2023
Rhys owes Notre Dame nothing.
This doesn’t mean “Rhys doesn’t owe Notre Dame anything anymore.” This is something he never did.
He played four strong seasons at quarterback, getting into trouble at every turn. Whatever debt the player owed to his school, Rhys paid off.
There is no further loyalty or obligation to the alma mater. The expectation of one says more about those who invoke those expectations than anyone else.
Coaching for Nick Saban is a clear step forward in the young manager’s career, no matter which transfer defender has arrived in South Bend this winter.
For that matter, hiring Sam HartmanReese gave Notre Dame some stability for its 11th year, which is quite remarkable for someone who spent only decade at the university.
RELATED READING: Tommy Rees has many opportunities that have earned recognition after ten years at Notre Dame.
Was Michael Mayer underestimated?
For a certain first-round pick that set Notre Dame’s every season and career record for a tight end, it might seem hard to understand. But when the Irish only have good tight ends, not great all the time in 2023, Mayer’s influence could take on a new, even more complementary perspective.
Although there will definitely not be a shortage of Notre Dame. It is simply inevitable that after Mayer’s departure, the position will roll back a step. This has been foreseen for at least two years now and will come true this fall, if not this spring.
This refusal alone will change the Irish offense in 2023 as much as any change of coordinator.
WHERE WAS NOTRE DAME
Maybe it’s the whole subsection? It may seem extreme, but it was true. He was Drew Pinesafety valve; he was the best thinker of converting the third down; he demanded a greater concentration of defense.
Part of that was down to Notre Dame’s lack of other solid offensive options, but it was mostly down to how good Mayer was. This was a player that some NFL scouts wanted to spend a first-round pick on. two years ago.
Behind Mayer, the Irish titles were spinning due to injuries. First, freshman That is, Redon I had an anterior cruciate ligament tear in high school. Then, sophomore Mitchell Evans I injured my leg in the summer. Next, Jr. Kevin Bauman tore his cruciate ligament in the third week of the season.
Reardon played like a classmate Holden Stace, but Raridon’s season ended when he tore his cruciate ligament in training in mid-October. Luckily for Notre Dame, Evans returned to the field around the same time.
Throughout the sophomore Kane Burrong only played one game and never played in attack, so the December transfer decision isn’t all that surprising.