Notre Dame Quarterback Race Over: Everett Golson Will Transfer
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said there would be a quarterback battle on the Irish this spring and in summer camp between Everett Golson, who led the team to the national championship game two seasons ago and started every game last year, and Malik Henry, who got the start in last season’s bowl game win over LSU. Apparently the writing was on the wall, however, because Golson has decided to transfer and he will be in high demand among some powerhouse schools. It’s now Henry’s job full time.
Writing Was On Wall
The Irish are +3600 at 5Dimes to win this coming season’s College Football Playoff. They open the season against Texas as a 12.5-point favorite. Ironically, Texas could be a candidate to land Golson. Because Golson already has graduated, he will be eligible to play in 2015.
Golson sat out the 2013 season while serving an academic suspension. The Fighting Irish finished a disappointing 7-5 last season behind a shaky Golson. He threw for 41 career touchdowns and ran for 14. At his best, Golson was the young playmaker under center on an Irish team that went undefeated through the 2012 regular season. But Golson at his worst resulted in 14 interceptions (four returned for touchdowns) and eight lost turnovers in 2014. Golson led the Irish to a 6-0 start before they lost at Florida State on a last-minute offensive pass interference call. The Irish then dropped five of their next six games with Golson finishing with 22 turnovers on the season. In the regular-season finale against USC, Golson was benched in the 49-14 loss.
Then Zaire started the bowl game and played well. After the bowl game and all spring, Kelly said he would hold a competition to determine a starter for the 2015 season.
“After much thought, prayer and discussion with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to graduate from Notre Dame and transfer to another school effectively immediately,” Golson said in a statement.
It doesn’t sound like Kelly was surprised at all.
“We, of course, have approached our preparations for the upcoming season with this possibility in mind,” he said in a statement. “The emergence of Malik Zaire, based on his performance in the Music City Bowl win over LSU, and throughout spring practice, has given our staff supreme confidence that he can lead our team to great success in 2015.”
Where To Next?
As a native of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Golson seems like a perfect fit for an SEC school, and there are plenty of teams in the league with uncertain quarterback situations after the conclusion of spring practice. They would include Alabama and LSU to name two. The SEC lifted its ban on graduate transfers last May, but one bylaw from that official league approval could prevent Golson from going to Georgia or South Carolina, two of the reported frontrunners. South Carolina’s quarterback competition between Perry Orth, Connor Mitch and Michael Scarnecchia went nowhere during spring practice. Steve Spurrier could use a proven commodity like Golson in Columbia.
Bylaw 126.96.36.199 requires that the “student-athlete has not been subject to official university or athletics department disciplinary action at any time during enrollment at any previous collegiate institution (excluding limited discipline by a sports team).” In this case, Golson’s academic suspension, which kept him out for the entire 2013 season, would keep him from meeting this requirement. The waiver process requires a “statement from all previous institutions.” So now any and all potential SEC suitors must ask for Notre Dame’s help — and commissioner Mike Slive’s approval — to get Golson on campus.
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