Irish (12-1) leader Brian Kelly, the winner of the Associated Press college football coach of the year award who is 81-33 since debuting on the sideline with Central Michigan in 2004, chose the 20-year-old Golson as the team’s starting signal-caller last summer.
Initially, the 6-foot, 185 pound Golson, a finalist for Mr. Football of South Carolina in 2010 who was ranked 16th on Rivals.com dual-threat quarterback list, looked terribly erratic in the pocket and clueless reading defensive formations at the line of scrimmage.
However, as the season progressed, Golson matured and managed to complete 187 passes for 12 touchdowns, against six interceptions, and 2,405 yards.
Additionally, the South Carolinian ran for 305 yards and five scores on the ground.
Kelly is seemingly smitten with Golson and it was tough to envision Kiel, or anyone else, being under center for the Irish in 2013.
Nevertheless, the 6-foot-4, 210 pound Kiel should have battled and made Kelly seriously consider a switch.
The 19-year-old Kiel, who captured the Indiana Mr. Football Award as a senior playing for Columbus East High School, possesses great arm strength and pinpoint accuracy.
Again, taking into account Kelly’s adoration of Golson and the sophomore’s significant development, there was likely a greater probability of Pope Joseph Ratzinger conducting prayer in a synagogue than Kiel becoming the top Irishman in the autumn.
Still, as a competitor, the ballyhooed freshman should have exhibited testicular fortitude and remained in South Bend attempting to earn the most scrutinized position in college football.
Now, rather than wearing the Gold and Navy Blue as an Irishman, Gunner Kiel will forever look yellow.by