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Tommy Rees Heading to Tuscaloosa to Interview for Alabama OC Position

By: Michael Blough | Writer | Twitter: @MichaelBlough12

At 11:21 A.M., the news broke that Tommy Rees would be taking a flight to the University of Alabama to interview with Nick Saban for the offensive coordinator position. In this situation I am positive that you can take all of Tommy's "homer' rhetoric about the University of Notre Dame and throw it out the window. When Nick Saban calls, you answer (or fly down to Tuscaloosa to interview). It is not that Tommy hasn't been a hot prospect for quite some time now, but none of the prior encounters (think LSU last year) felt quite this deep. If anyone out there was looking for a prediction (Irish fans look away), I think he will take this job IF Saban offers it to him. To add to that, I think Saban will offer him the position as it has been widely reported now that Rees is Saban's "top target".


Photo Credit: ESPN


Optimism

While all hope hasn't quite left the door yet, it certainly feels that it is few and far between. If Rees was to stay, that would be a HUGE win for the Irish. To me, the Irish have to find a way to keep him. Whether that is more money, a statue, or any other attainable resource, Jack Swarbrick and all other staffers should be doing everything in their power to make this work. If he does stay, I think it does two main things for Notre Dame. First, I think it provides a resounding sense of belief in the program after year one of the Marcus Freeman era. If Rees was not interested in sticking around any longer under this regime, trust me, I think he'd be gone in a heartbeat. Secondly, I think it would have a huge impact on recruiting for the 2024 class (and beyond). I'll talk about what will happen if he leaves shortly, but the facts of the matter are that Cam Williams, CJ Carr, and other outstanding prospects would be on high alert if their main recruiter was suddenly the OC at Alabama. If you are interested in some of the things that Tommy has said in the past about wanting to stay at Notre Dame, look no further than about 14 months ago when he provided this gem of a video after announcing he was staying at Notre Dame. Sayings like "this is where my heart is" and "this is where I want to win a national championship" are certainly reassuring, but I think this is a completely different ballgame when you involve Nick Saban and the winningest program over the last decade.


The Downside

If Rees leaves, you can bet your bottom dollar that this will send Notre Dame Football into a frenzy for the next few weeks. On top of looking for a new OC, I think this will have massive impact on the upcoming year and the recruiting for the 2024 class. First, I'd just like to point out that this is possibly the worst timing for this to happen. The Irish feel like they just got their Quarterback (Sam Hartman), they return three running-backs, most of their receiving core (and added some recruits and transfers in the 2023 class), and will return both of their starting offensive tackles. If there was ever a year to be jacked up about the talent on the offensive side of the ball, it was the 2023 season. Now, Tommy leaving wouldn't destroy all of that hope, but it certainly throws a wrench in the plans. As far as finding a new OC goes, I think the Irish surely could find someone capable of the job, but some of the highest regarded OC's are already off the market. Narrowing down who we would be looking for is another article for another time, but I think this decision will mostly shake up the recruiting. There's no doubt that the 2024 class already has some great offensive talent signed (CJ Carr and Cam Williams mentioned previously). Now, if you know anything about CJ Carr, you know that he has been very important in the Irish's recruiting efforts, often taking extra visits to come down to South Bend with other highly regarded prospects. While he seems like he's a surefire Notre Dame attendee, I think his relationship with Rees might be even more prevalent. Losing a commitment from the likes of him or Cam Williams can turn the 2024 class upside-down.

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