Kelly: Crist, Rees neck-and-neck for Irish QB job

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

SOUTH BEND, IND. (AP) - Notre Dame’s quarterback derby has evolved into a two-man showdown between Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees.

Coach Brian Kelly said Saturday the two are pretty much even after one week of camp.

“It’s very, very competitive between Dayne and Tommy,” Kelly said. “Too close to call at this point.”

Crist was the starter until sustaining a season-ending knee injury Oct. 30 against Tulsa that required surgery. Rees relieved in that game and led the Irish on a four-game winning streak, including a Sun Bowl victory over Miami, which gave the Irish an 8-5 record in Kelly’s first season.

“They both have done very good things. So right now I would say they are neck-and-neck,” Kelly said.

Rees got a lot of repetitions with the first team Saturday, so he could be more fairly evaluated.

Dayne has been getting most of the first-team reps, so we wanted to be able to give a balanced evaluation,” Kelly said.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Crist has a stronger arm, but the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Rees has a nice touch and a quick release. Both are comfortable in Kelly’s spread offense.

It started off as a four-man derby with Andrew Hendrix and freshman Everett Golson also in the mix, but Kelly said Saturday it was too difficult to get practice repetitions for all four.

Earlier, the coach had said he’d probably pick the starter after 19 practices, which would fall around the third week of August.

“We kind of thought we’d need that second week (to decide),” Kelly said. “It’s still a battle between those two, not that Everett and Andrew haven’t made progress. They just haven’t got as much work.”

Kelly said speed slot receiver Theo Riddick, who was shifted from running back a year ago and became one of the top big-play threat before an ankle injury sidelined him for four games, could be used again in the backfield.

“It’s available to us, whether we need to do it or whether we feel like it has to happen is another thing,” Kelly said. “But we’ll always be prepared if we ever get short-handed that Theo can line up at the running back position.”

Riddick, who caught 40 passes last season, including 10 against Michigan State and nine against Boston College, said he doesn’t miss running back but would be ready if he needed to play at his old position. Cierre Wood and Jonas Gray at 1-2 in the backfield and if they would be injured, the Irish might have to turn to freshmen George Atkinson III or Cam McDaniel.

Riddick said the battle between Crist and Rees can only make the Irish better.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus