Tommy Rees has officially been named the OC at Notre Dame. Fan reaction has been mixed and Notre Dame twitter has been a bit more combative lately.
A major point that stuck with me was the interview with Brian Kelly. Kelly mentioned they did an extensive nation wide search before naming Tommy Rees the OC. This extensive search that took place while Brian Kelly was on vacation and it ended with the hire everyone knew was coming.
I mentioned previously that I was hesitant about Rees becoming the OC and that hasn’t changed. He is a young coach with very little experience. I believe he will one day be a great coach and even better recruiter. The problem is trusting Kelly.
Kelly hasn’t been shy that he is a few years away from retirement. He also has built a very talented team and had the benefit of light schedules the last few years. This has left a bit of a complacent feel aroud Notre Dame.
Brian Kelly deserves most of the credit for his rebuild of Notre Dame. He turned them from a train wreck into a playoff contender during his tenure. He has also proven when his back was against the wall and his job on the line, he made some great hires. Chip Long, Mike Elko and Clark Lea were all oustide hires that fixed Notre Dame post 2016. Now that the fallout of 4-8 is well behind him, Kelly slowly shifted back into his old ways that led to 4-8. Rees may be a huge hire and prove me wrong, which I hope it is. However the inexperience of Rees and the lack of trust in Kelly raises questions. But there is some real positives to come from all this.
Rees and Taylor
Lance Taylor getting the promotion to run game coordinator was a great move. Taylor is a great recruiter, has experience outside the program and a proven track record. He has already made an impact in his short time at Notre Dame and will complement Rees well.
Rees also has massive potential as a recuriter. He grew up around recruiting with his dad being a recuriting coordinator and players love him. He will likely get compared to Chip Long as a recruiter as 247 Sports had Long rated as a top 10 recruiter in 2020. But with all the questions looming around Rees, I don’t think recruiting will be an issue. His relationship with Lance Taylor could help balance the offense.
Throwing the ball 48 times is a hurricane has become a staple of the Brian Kelly era. If Rees is given full control of the offense, Taylor as the run game coordinator could have more push to keep the ball on the ground. As so many Notre Dame fans have screamed at their TV’s over the years, Notre Dame may finally “Run the damn Ball”.
Tommy Rees could become a great OC and I could have been way off. Or he may get swallowed up by inexperience and fizzle out. The more likely result will be somewhere in between. Rees needs to learn how to be an OC for the first time while also making a playoff push in 2020. Kelly will likely be close to get over some bumps along the way. Either way, Rees as OC is a wait and see before casting final judgement on the hire.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.