Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said during Wednesday’s media session that Everett Golson is “taking the next step of leadership.”
The 21-year-old Golson was banned from South Bend in May 2013 for cheating on a final exam and he wasn’t readmitted to school until roughly six months later.
Brawnier and weighing 200 pounds, the 6-foot Golson trained with quarterback guru George Whitfield last winter and is now reportedly more polished and disciplined in the pocket.
Able to run the option and launch the ball from all angles, Golson is the ideal athlete to operate Brian Kelly’s unpredictable, spread-attack.
“He’s been consistent,” said Kelly, 52, a two-time college football coach of the year winner who is 90-37 since debuting on the sideline with Central Michigan in 2004.
“I think he’s been as a quarterback much more decisive. There is still room for growth there in that position. But, consistency and decisiveness are good words to use with the quarterback’s growth.”
Chosen as the team’s starting signal-caller in 2012, Golson was initially erratic and clueless reading defensive formations at the line of scrimmage.
However, as that season progressed, the native South Carolinian developed and managed to complete 187 tosses for 12 touchdowns, against six interceptions, and 2,405 yards.
Once ranked 16th on Rivals.com dual-threat quarterback list, Golson added 305 yards and five scores on the ground.
The Irish lost some elite defensive playmakers to the NFL and will face Florida State, Stanford, Michigan, Arizona State and Louisville this autumn.
Equally concerning, receiver DaVaris Daniels, linebacker Kendall Moore, cornerback KeiVarae Russell, and defensive end Ishaq Williams were pinched as dunces and will miss Saturday’s opener.
Fortunately, with Kelly again calling plays and even without Daniels, Golson is surrounded with all the necessary weaponry to guide an explosive unit.
Golson was placed on the 2014 Maxwell Award Watch List in July and he could become the first Irishman to capture the Heisman Trophy since Tim Brown accomplished the feat in 1987.
Regardless of what occurs between now and December, Everett Golson will help the Irish embarrass Rice this weekend at Notre Dame Stadium.by