Tommy Rees hasn’t take a meaningful snap pretty much all camp, as Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly chooses between Everett Golson, Andrew Hendrix and Gunner Kiel for the season-opener against Navy in Ireland — a game for which Rees is suspended following his arrest in May.
“I feel I have a pretty good understanding of the offense,” Rees said on Saturday in his first public comments since the suspension was handed down. “I’ll be prepared when my name’s called.”
Both Rees and linebacker Carlo Calabrese — also suspended for Navy following his arrest that same night — said all the right things.
“It’s tough, but I accept the punishment,” Rees said. “I’m out there trying to help the other guys.”
Said Calabrese: “I learned a lot from it and Coach Kelly made a decision, I respect that. I put myself in a bad situation and he had to do what he had to do. I respect that. It’s already done, I’ve moved on from that. I’m just working harder and harder every day.”
Calabrese’s job at inside linebacker is relatively secure for when he returns against Purdue. Rees will have an uphill climb when he starts getting reps again during the Purdue week. But he doesn’t think he’s done as Notre Dame’s quarterback.
“Not really,” he said. “I think one of the biggest things is having confidence in yourself. If you’re insecure and worried about things like that, it could be hard. But I try to carry myself with confidence, I know I can play this game I know I can help us win games.”
Rees said leaving school was never an option.
“To be honest, that idea never really crossed my mind,” he said. “I love being here, I love being part of this team.”
Both players thanked their teammates and coaches for supporting them.
“It’s been tough, but the team’s great, they’re great people to lean on,” Calabrese said. “Not just on the defensive side, not just at my position. I can lean on anybody on the offensive side, too. They’ve been helping me through this. We’re all tight, that’s helping me out.”