A major theme across the blogs this week has been the exhale of those in terrible fear of The Notre Dame Fighting Irish passing attack, led by Brandon Wimbush. He didn’t blow the doors off against MSU, but consistently gave his receivers a chance to make plays, which was a much needed step in the right direction. I don’t think people gave enough credit to the man who helped orchestrate the weekly shift ... The Man formerly known as Tommy Rees ... The Man With the Rocket (Hasbro Rocket) Arm ... former starter ... and current QB coach, Tom Rees.
This got me thinking, Tommy always found a way onto the field, despite the massive amounts of talent that came in every year to “finally take his place.” The plethora of both 4- and 5-star guys had all the potential, but ultimately failed to live up to the hype, causing them to transfer. Every single one of these who left the program, outside of Andrew Hendrix, had lackluster careers elsewhere. Their legacies were full of what-ifs, promises of greatness, and overall unmet expectations.
With that, I present to you Philly G’s list of over-promising and under-delivering quarterbacks who transferred during the Tommy Rees Era. Please rate which one had you the most excited ... only to let you down.
- Dayne Crist: The 5-Star Golden Boy from California who would replace Jimmy Clausen. Injuries in both 2009 and 2010 left his career, which was riddled with promise, cut short. However, his injury vs. Tulsa paved the way for Tommy, a true freshman, to see his first game action. Crist later transferred to Kansas to reunite with Charlie Weis, ultimately ending up with the worst QBR in Division 1 that year. So much hope, so much promise ... only to end up splitting lunch at Arby’s with Weis (probably).
2. Gunner Kiel: The number-1 quarterback recruit in the country ... He committed to Indy, He committed to LSU, then he enrolled at Notre Dame ... only to sit behind Everett, Tommy, and Andrew Hendrix. Ultimately he bolted again and ended up at Cincinnati, flashing signs of his original skills, only to be relegated back to 3rd string in his final year.
3. Andrew Hendrix: Remember when he had a 78 yard run vs. Air Force? That was realistically the extent of the highlights for him, as he later struggled to find his receivers and ultimately ended up transferring to Miami of Ohio, rejoining former offensive coordinator Chuck Martin. Fortunately for Hendrix, the transfer paid off; he had a very successful season at Miami, and even had some looks from NFL scouts.
4. Everett Golson: I will never forget the first time I saw his highlight tape. He threw a perfect, 70-yard bomb on the first play. Though Everett had some great moments, he never fully was embraced as a leader or the face of Notre Dame football. He had all the tools, but was constantly relieved by the main man Tommy, and ultimately ended up transferring to FSU, where he was very up and down. RIP Golson scared eyes ...
5. Malik Zaire: Malik was supposed to be the leader Golson was not, but injuries and the rise of DeShone Kizer squelched any chance he had to fulfill those promises. Now, Malik was not necessarily replaced by Tommy, but was on the team playing behind him for a couple of seasons. However, he must have felt the presence of Coach Tom coming back to South Bend, which ultimately caused him to leave for the Florida Gators ... which is not working out so well thus far.
6. Nate Montana: LOL, right?
With all of that said, please vote on which quarterback you thought was going to be the “next great,” but ultimately left you, and the program, simply wanting more. Feel share to feel your moments of excitement as you watched these guys sign ... then disappoint with their play.
Who was the most over-promised, yet under-delivering Notre Dame quarterback?
This poll is closed
HOT TAKE: We Will See a Special Teams Touchdown This Week
The major difference between MAC schools and Power-5 schools is not always in the quality of the starters (well it is, but not completely). There are major gaps between the quality of players in the second and even third strings, which ultimately make up the special teams units. Notre Dame will have a much higher talent bar in these areas, and it will show. We will most likely see a CJ Sanders Kick Return Touchdown, or even a short field Chris Finke Punt Return Touchdown*** (Miami punting from their own end zone in max protect). Sanders has been close multiple times, and this is the week that Brian Polian’s unit gets into the end zone. ***see punt return below
COLD TAKE: This Game Will Be Close Going Into the Half
I hate to say it, but Notre Dame consistently falls victim to the “trap game" narrative. Also, I think people are underestimating how hyped MAC-type teams get when traveling to a historic venue like this. To be frank, this is their Super Bowl. I think the RedHawks keep it close in the first half, but the depth and grind over all 3 of Notre Dame's phases of the game will wear and tear until suddenly the game will break open.
Never Forget Tom, Formerly Known As Tommy Touchdown, Rees.