Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees lost the starting job to Everett Golson this season, but that doesn't mean he won't be needed against Alabama in the 2013 BCS Championship game. Rees played in 11 games during the regular season, spelling Golson when he got banged up, and leading some important-late game drives.
Among his highlights this year is the game-winning drive he led against Purdue and the game-winning touchdown he threw against Stanford. Notre Dame won those two games by a combined 10 points, which helped to preserve its undefeated season.
For the season, Rees has completed 34 of 59 pass attempts for 436 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. This year came in contrast to 2011, when he was the unquestioned starter under center. That year, he threw for more than 2,800 yards and connected on 20 touchdown passes, though he also threw 14 interceptions.
He came into this season having made 16 starts for Notre Dame. But he ended up suspended for the first game, which Golson started, and Rees wasn't able to work his way back to the top of the depth chart. Instead he's had to settle for spot duty, but as noted earlier, he's come up big for the Irish in some important situations.
Rees may not play Monday night, but his career won't end with the BCS title game -- he has another year of eligibility remaining, and he should be back at Notre Dame next season. There is no telling if his role will change once again, but he could use the extra time on campus to boost his NFL Draft stock.
This video includes highlights from his game-winning drive against the Boilermakers: