Kelly says Rees will start for Irish

Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly has apparently named Tommy Rees the starting quarterback for the Irish.

Kelly and his wife, Paqui, were being honored with the Leadership Award during Grand Valley State University's annual enrichment dinner on Wednesday when he let the news slip.

"We always move forward," Kelly said, according to, when responding to a question about his starting quarterback situation in the wake of Everett Golson's academic issues. "I don't live in the past, and I don't spend too much time in the future. I live in the present, and in the present, we have Tommy Rees. We have Tommy Rees, who is an established player, and he will be our starter. We think Andrew Hendrix and Malik Zaire can contribute, but Tommy will be our starter."

Kelly was head coach at Grand Valley State until 2003.

Rees has appeared in 33 games for the Irish, starting 18 over three seasons. He has thrown for 4,413 yards with 34 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.

Rees was suspended for the Irish's season-opener against Navy last season after being arrested at a party near the Notre Dame campus. He was sentenced to 330 days probation and needs to serve 50 hours of community service.

The announcement of Rees as starter comes after Golson, who helped lead the Fighting Irish to an undefeated regular season and an appearance in the BCS National Championship game last season, was placed on academic suspension.

Golson made 11 starts for the Fighting Irish last season as a redshirt freshman and scored 18 touchdowns to help Notre Dame post a 12-0 regular season record before falling to Alabama in the title game.

He threw for 2,405 yards and 12 touchdowns against six interceptions, while also adding six rushing scores on 298 yards.