Friday, July 10, 2009

Rees is Missing Piece | by Pat

The phones in the Gug kept ringing this week as Illinois quarterback Tommy Rees made a quick decision after getting an offer from Notre Dame. Jumping at the chance, Rees committed to the Irish. He's the second QB to commit and the 11th overall member in the 2010 recruiting class.

‘‘I felt comfortable with [Notre Dame],’’ Rees said. ‘‘I like the coaches a lot. I’ll get a good education ... and the football tradition is something that’s important to me.’’
The recruiting sites for the most part haven't evaluated the 6'3" 195-pound Rees yet. He is still unranked on Rivals. Scout gave him 3 stars and slotted him as the 83rd-ranked QB in the class, but there is no indication that they have actually evaluated him, and it certainly looks that his ranking is merely a placeholder for now given the lack of highlight clips, bio, and the rest of the info usually found in a recruit's profile. ESPN didn't have a review of him up when he committed either, but they quickly rectified that and gave him a 78. They also issued a review that contains the same sleeper/upside buzzwords the last few recruits have elicited:
The first thing that jumps out about Rees is his release. In fact, we are surprised he has not received more attention due to his delivery alone at this stage. He is a prospect that coaches may look at and see an intriguing prospect three years down the road with upside and late bloomer potential.
ESPN also has the only highlight video of Rees I could find, so check him at the above link.

One of the reason Rees has been flying under the recruitnik radar was lack of attention from bigger programs. His initial set of offers included Central Michigan, Miami-Ohio, and Bowling Green. But then Stanford offered (granted, they "offer" anyone with a pulse these days) and so did Tennessee, apparently, after Rees went to a Vols football camp and was named QB MVP of the camp (granted, Kiffin gave out three QB MVP awards in the same camp). I say "apparently" offered because he's listed with a Tennessee offer on Rivals, but this UT article says the Vols were close to offering but never actually did.

How did the Irish get to know this unheralded prospect? ND had a chance to watch Rees work out and throw after he came to ND for this summer's football camp. After his showing, ND made the call to extend an offer.

Rees comes from a football family. His older brother is a punter at UCLA and his father has a long scouting and coaching history in both college and the NFL, last with the Browns. When asked to give a scouting review of his son, here is what he said.
''He could be an athletic pocket passer,'' Bill Rees said. ''He can move around and get out of trouble. He is a very accurate passer with arm ability. He can throw with touch and velocity and can throw deep. A college coach must ask: 'Does he fit into what we are doing?''
With two quarterbacks in this class, ND is definitely done recruiting the position for the year. After Clausen departs, Rees and Hendrix will battle it out to see who will back up Crist. In case Clausen goes pro after a strong 2009 season, ND will have three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, even if two of them are freshmen. Taking two quarterbacks in this class is a good move to make up for the gap in last year's class and likely shouldn't have a big impact on next year's recruiting (just like it didn't during Clausen's recruitment after landing Jones and Frazer the year before).

Fifth Year
Senior Junior Sophomore Freshman

Jimmy Clausen
Dayne Crist*

Andrew Hendrix

Nate Montana*

Tommy Rees