Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly addressed the media Thursday about the upcoming season. (Leader Publications Photo/File)

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Focus still on quarterbacks at Notre Dame

Published 6:31pm Thursday, August 16, 2012

Monday, the University of Notre Dame football team will start preparing for its season opener against Navy in Dublin, Ireland.

So come Monday, Irish head coach Brian Kelly will have narrowed down who will be his starting quarterback.

As of the annual media day at Notre Dame Stadium, Kelly had not made any decision on who would be his starter. He said he was close, but he wasn’t ready to name the replacement for suspended Tommy Rees.

Kelly also said that he would prefer to have just one quarterback calling the signals this season for the Fighting Irish instead of two or more.

“I think we’re getting closer to that,” Kelly told the media gathered in the press box. “It’s not going to be a 50-50 proposition. We’re moving closer toward that as we move into actually working against Navy.

“I think probably Monday we sit down and talk about how the reps are going to be distributed. But there’s still so much learning, so it wouldn’t be as cut and dry as say, here’s my No. 1. The door will still be open for growth during that week, but we’ll start to separate the reps a little bit.”

Rees has started 16 games for Notre Dame over his first two years, but an off-the-field arrest over the summer cost him the Navy game and puts his status as the starting quarterback in jeopardy.

Battling for the starting spot are junior Andrew Hendrix and sophomore Everett Golson. Freshman Gunner Kiel is considered a long shot at this point to earn the starting nod.

Hendrix saw action in five games last season. He started the second half of the Stanford game and split time with Reese in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Golson did not play last season, but showed his abilities during the Notre Dame spring game.

Kelly said that making the right decisions with the football were an issue coming into fall camp, but so far, he is feeling better about his quarterbacks.

“You build trust,” he said. “You don’t just give it, you build it. He’s (Golson) exhibited that trust in the way he’s handled himself in camp.”

Kelly said Golson has just one interception in 126 attempts so far this fall.

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