3. The QB Battle will be decided in the spring
Rees vs. Crist vs. Hendrix (vs. Montana). Rees vs. Hendrix vs. Golson. Golson vs. Zaire. Zaire vs. Kizer vs. Wimbush. No matter who inhabits the quarterback position on the Irish depth chart, there always seems to be a point when Brian Kelly informs the press that it’s an “open competition” in the spring for the starting job. And, after he says that, everyone attempts to guess, based on spring practice (even after Kelly makes it clear he isn’t picking the starter that soon), who has won the job.
Inane practice highlight videos are analyzed. Sports media first-hand accounts are meticulously read and mindlessly probed for deeper implications. Statistics from limited data are compared and contrasted and used to debate for weeks and weeks on-end.
Want to know a secret? The QB battle, if there is one at all (try to tell me Rees or Hendrix ever had a chance to beat out Golson before the 2012 season, or that Kelly would split first team reps between players if he didn’t absolutely have to), will go into summer camp and probably right up until the first game. The spring will play into it, sure, and the rapport that QBs build with their offensive teammates during that time is very important. But let’s also be real – spring practice is spring practice. Only so much can be learned in 15 sessions. The starter for 2016 will not be known until a much later time, and you can count on that, especially considering how talented Zaire and Kizer have proven to be.
Next: Now we really have a quarterback