Following nearly a year in academic exile, dimmed Notre Dame star Everett Golson participated in Monday’s opening of spring practice.
Golson, a dunce who was banned from South Bend last May for cheating on a final exam, was readmitted to school in December.
“I want to say surreal in a sense,” said Golson, 21, who is brawnier and now weighs 200 pounds. “I felt accomplished for a split moment — that I went through what I went through, and now I’m back.”
Training with quarterback guru George Whitfield, Golson has reportedly become more polished and disciplined in the pocket.
“He’s throwing frozen ropes,” defensive back Matthias Farley said. “He looked awesome. There’s some pace behind every throw.”
Able to run the option and launch the ball from all angles, Golson is now the ideal athlete to operate Brian Kelly’s unpredictable, spread-offense.
“We all live in the same world when it comes to the Notre Dame quarterback,” 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. “We’re going to heap a lot on this kid’s shoulders. And he knows that. That’s why he came back to Notre Dame.”
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 the 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.
Hence, Notre Dame’s attack must compensate and become a more explosive unit.
With Kelly again calling plays, there indeed is going to be “a lot on this kid’s shoulders.”
Nevertheless, “throwing frozen ropes” in March, don’t be shocked if Everett Golson becomes the first Irishman to capture the Heisman Trophy since Tim Brown accomplished the feat in 1987.by