MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – When Brian Kelly settled on sophomore Everett Golson to be Notre Dame's starting quarterback at the start of the season that left questions about what would happen with the Irish's other quarterbacks – juniors Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix as well as freshman Gunner Kiel.
Rees, who started 12 games last year, was used a lot in a relief role to start the season as Golson became more comfortable. He completed 34 of 59 passes for 436 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Rees also made starts against Miami, when Golson's sat out the first series because he was late to a practice that week, and BYU, when Golson was sidelined with a concussion.
And Rees is ready to help out in any way he can Monday night when No. 1 Notre Dame (12-0) plays No. 2 Alabama (12-1) in the BCS championship game.
"It's obvious paid off for myself and the team this year," Rees said during Saturday's title game media day. "Being able to prepare like that has been huge."
Hendrix played even less this year than he did last season when he played in five games.
This year, he appeared in three games and completed three of eight passes for 41 yards. While he has enjoyed being part of an undefeated season, Hendrix isn't sure what his future is with Notre Dame.
"I don't think about during the season. We will cross that bridge when we get to it after the year," Hendrix said. "The coaches will be honest with me. But right now, you can't think about those things."
Kiel, who came to Notre Dame as the top-rated quarterback recruit, didn't play a down this season and worked on the scout team. In the days leading up to the title game, he played the part of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron during practices.
"I honestly kind of thought going in I really wasn't going to play," Kiel said. "It's really hard for any freshman to come in and start, especially at the quarterback position. It turned out to be a learning experience. Learning the offense, learning new defenses, new terminology. It was all different. But to be a part of this team is very special."