Before we heard whether or not Tommy Rees would bolt for Tuscaloosa, we put out a tweet saying Byron Leftwich would be our choice for Notre Dame OC. Grace Remington of 247Sports reported Byron has reached out to coach Marcus Freeman, making that more realistic than ever.
A lot of processing is left to play out, and I’m sure coach Freeman won’t jump at the very first candidate he speaks with. That said, Byron reportedly reached out to the Fighting Irish head coach, which bodes well for those that want to see him as the new offensive coordinator. While much has been made of his ability to recruit, the simple fact is we don’t know how he’ll do.
We do know that Byron has won a Super Bowl as both a player and offensive coordinator in his NFL career. We also know that Notre Dame football is not a massive player in the “pay to play” NIL field. Obviously, young student-athletes would love to see some upfront money, but most dream of making it to the highest level of their respective sports. Byron has been there and done that as both an athlete and a mentor of athletes.
There’s no telling how someone will do with moving from the NFL to college or vice versa. There are different factors in play in each of the leagues, and will be some adjustments regardless of which direction you’re moving. The fact that Byron has had success at the highest of levels in the NFL certainly can’t be a bad thing to have in a coach.
There are plenty of other candidates left to discuss the opening with as coach Freeman looks to move swiftly in making a hire. While it’s better to get someone sooner rather than later, going through the motions and truly getting the right candidate is critical.
While we wish Tommy Rees the best of luck in Tuscaloosa, he’s not the end-all-be-all for college football assistant coaches. We must trust the staff and coach Freeman to select the next guy to take over the offense.