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Notre Dame season preview: QB Tommy Rees says he’s learned a lot in 3 years

Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees answers questions from mediNCAA college football mediday Thursday Aug. 22 2013 South Bend Ind. (AP

Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees answers questions from the media at NCAA college football media day Thursday Aug. 22, 2013, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

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2013 schedule

Date Opponent Time, TV

Saturday vs. Temple 2:30 p.m., NBC

Sept. 7 at Mich. 7 p.m., ESPN/ABC

Sept. 14 at Purdue 7 p.m., ESPN/ABC

Sept. 21 vs. Mich. St. 2:30 p.m., NBC

Sept. 28 vs. Okla. 2:30 p.m., NBC

Oct. 5 vs. Ariz. St. 6:30 p.m., NBC

Oct. 19 vs. USC 6:30 p.m., NBC

Oct. 26 at Air Force 4 p.m., CBSSN

Nov. 2 vs. Navy 2:30 p.m., NBC

Nov. 9 at Pitt TBA, ABC/ESPN

Nov. 23 BYU 2:30 p.m., NBC

Nov. 30 at Stanford TBA, Fox or Fox1

Updated: September 26, 2013 6:53AM



SOUTH BEND — In 2010, Tommy Rees helped Notre Dame to four straight victories, including the Hyundai Sun Bowl. In the process, he became the first freshman quarterback in school history to lead the Irish to a win in a bowl game.

In 2011, Rees entered in the second half of the season opener against South Florida. And he started the remainder of the season.

In 2012, Rees came back from a one-game suspension, and off the bench, to help rally Notre Dame to a victory against Purdue. He remained a contributor as the backup quarterback the rest of the year.

It’s all been part of the learning process for Rees, who is back as a starter for the 2013 season.

“I’ve grown. I’ve developed physically. I’ve learned a lot about the game,” Rees said last week. “I’m trying to not make the same mistake twice. That’s been my theme throughout camp. And just learning from things in the past.

“… I’ve been through a lot of different situations and I’ve grown from all of them and learned from all of them. I’m just excited to get back out on the field and start playing football.”

Rees returned to the starting role shortly after Everett Golson was suspended for the fall term for what Golson said was “poor academic judgment.”

“(Rees) can do the things we want him to do in terms of pushing the football down the field vertically. He doesn’t have the arm strength that Everett Golson does, but if he’s on time, if he’s reading it properly, if he’s doing all the right things, he can get the ball to exactly where we need him to get it,” coach Brian Kelly said.

“He’s matured as an individual as well. All those things I have been able to see first hand. There’s no reason why he can’t do the things that we’re asking him to do and he’s shown us that he can do them.”

Rees certainly has the experience. He has appeared in 33 games and made 18 starts. Rees has 4,413 career passing yards, 34 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.

It’s that last figure that has been a focal point for Rees. He said he’s grown to understand “when a good play means zero and when a good play means throwing it away and not trying to force something when it’s not necessarily there.”

That knowledge will be crucial.

“His brain is his biggest strength,” offensive coordinator Chuck Martin said. “He’s the son of a coach that loves that part of the game.”

Bill Rees was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at UCLA from 1979-93.

“My dad has told me to really not have any regrets. It may be the last time I ever get to play the game,” Rees said. “Just go out there, do everything you can to have the best season you can. Prioritize what’s important and really focus in on what you want to accomplish.”



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