With Everett Golson out, the job of Notre Dame starting quarterback almost inevitably falls to Tommy Rees for Week 1. Rees is 14-4 as a starter, played a key role on last season's 12-1 team and is the only signal caller on the Irish roster with any starting experience.
Will the case be shut just like that? Coach Brian Kelly said last week that it will be a three-man race among Rees, Andrew Hendrix and Malik Zaire. It's not like Kelly was going to count out the other two publicly with camp still two months away. Still, the opportunity should present itself for both of those players to possibly see the field in 2013.
Hendrix has great size, arm strength and speed but has not been able to overtake Rees or Golson the past two years. He does have some game experience, however, and could prove to be an effective change-of-pace quarterback if called upon in 2013.
Zaire, meanwhile, is the wild card of the group. He enrolled this spring after being ranked ESPN's No. 6 overall quarterback prospect from the Class of 2013, and the staff was very high on his performance throughout spring ball.
(He also threw the only touchdown pass in the Blue-Gold spring game … but who's counting?)
Knowing Kelly and knowing Notre Dame, it would be a surprise if there isn't more than one quarterback who sees significant action this fall. Rees, after all, has never been the season-opening starter, despite seeing extensive playing time in his first years.
We want to know who you think will start for the Irish in their Nov. 30 regular-season finale at rival Stanford, as that gives time for more factors to come into play. I'm betting it's still Rees by a fairly comfortable margin, but I'm curious to see how you guys view it.
Feel free to drop a note in the mailbag and explain your reasoning.