With the news swirling the past few days about a potential exit from his alma mater, Tommy Rees will officially become Alabama’s offensive coordinator. While it’s a tough blow, it’s nothing that Marcus Freeman and the Notre Dame football staff can’t overcome.
As simply as I can put it, we’ll miss Tommy! No question about that. That said, and with all due respect, he’s not irreplaceable. The most challenging thing to replace may be his connections with some of the current top recruits in Notre Dame’s class of 2024. CJ Carr and Cam Williams are the two highest-ranked players Rees has ever recruited, and they’re still a year from signing day. Carr is the only recruit Tommy is listed as the primary recruiter for in the class of 2024.
Obviously, this isn’t about recruiting; it’s about coaching. Tommy, by all accounts, is a great leader of his student-athletes, even with the occasional hard coaching – sorry, Drew. I’ve mentioned this numerous times, but I expect Tommy’s offensive numbers will improve substantially with more talented weapons. Pyne had a better season than what people credit him for, but he needs to take that next step in his career to improve fan perception.
The question of ‘what could’ve been?’ may haunt Notre Dame football fans the most. With a likely improved group of wide receivers and Sam Hartman as the potential starting quarterback, it feels like something is being left on the table. That’s the only thing that should potentially haunt Notre Dame fans.
How couldn’t it be for the best if Tommy succeeds at Alabama? He would be learning from, without a doubt, the best coach of the modern era of football. He’s a Notre Dame graduate and former coach who would likely relish the opportunity to come back and lead his alma mater. A lot can be made of Tommy leaving his alma mater for Alabama but why?
A guy who has spent one-third of his life at Notre Dame has an opportunity, at the remarkably young age of 30, to coach under the greatest coach of all time. Can you blame him for wanting to expand his circle/horizons? I certainly can’t.
Seeing Tommy go is not exciting; it’s quite the opposite. Though, why can’t the potential of Marcus Freeman bringing in his own offensive coordinator be that way? It should be. You must have faith in coach Freeman with arguably the biggest decision he’ll make as head coach at The University of Notre Dame.