Tuesday, May 19, 2015
It's official. After deciding to leave Notre Dame following graduation, Everett Golson has decided to join the team in which he had arguably his best game against last season. That of course is the Florida State Seminoles. It is decision that really shapes up to be good for both programs.
Let's start with Notre Dame. Coach Kelly was set to faced with an incredibly difficult decision. Golson or Malik Zaire. It would have been a decision that could have defined his legacy at Notre Dame. It is also one that could have created a divided locker room. On one hand, you have the guy who has thrown for a ton of yards and even helped you go to the BCS Title Game as a Freshman. But he also had his issues with turnovers. Then you have the young upstart who will be there for the next three seasons. In spite of the fact that he has limited experience and is a little erratic throwing the ball at times, he just seems to make plays on the field.
We will never know who would have won that competition as it is now a moot point. But I think that Golson knew that regardless of who won, they would split time. Being that it is his Senior year, you can understand why he would want nothing to do with that. Now Notre Dame can go into camp with Zaire as the undisputed starter and will get all the reps in practice. That in itself is huge in the development of a quarterback.
For Florida State, the departure of Jameis Winston left a huge gap. Sean Maguire really didn't impress anybody in the spring and they don't want to rush De'Andre Johnson. So it is apparent that they needed a stop gap guy for one year. Technically, Golson and Maguire will compete for the job, but I think it is fair to say that Golson is the front runner by far.
On paper, this makes sense for Golson. His best games over his career has been against the ACC. Who can forget his great effort in a comeback against Pittsburgh, his lighting up Wake Forest on Senior Day, his 39 straight completions against Syracuse, and of course his great game against Florida State themselves. The only issue is can Golson learn the playbook fast enough. But being that they open with a couple of cream puffs in Texas State and South Florida, that might buy him a little extra time.
Notre Dame and Florida State are not scheduled to play next season but that can all change with the new playoff system. It would be fun to see.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
As much as Notre Dame fans wanted to see Everett Golson come back to Notre Dame for his senior season, deep down very few felt that it would probably be in his best personal interests. With the emergence of Malik Zaire late last season, it was clear that Golson would have to fight to remain the starter after watching Zaire be the MVP of the Music City Bowl.
That's not to say that he would not have beaten Zaire in the competition. He very well might have. But that is a gamble that he knew he just could not take. Golson had a great spring and looked good in the Spring Game. But Zaire was just a little better as he was in last year's spring game as well as the bowl game.
But even if Golson were to have won back the starting job, there is little doubt that Zaire was still going to have an increased role. The question of whether a two quarterback system could work was debated up to now. But a better question would have been would either quarterback have wanted anything to do with that? The answer from both guys was clearly no.
That would have left Coach Brian Kelly with an incredibly tough decision. He would have had to choose from the more experienced and polished Golson or the young phenom that just seems to make plays.
But looking at it from a practical perspective, Kelly was probably ultimately going to go with Zaire. The fact that the two of them were so close almost seems like you have to go with the guy that will be there for the next three seasons. As great as Golson was at times for Notre Dame, he did have his mistakes too and you really would expect a senior to be well ahead of an underclassmen, but he wasn't.
That really left Golson with just one option if he wants a long term future playing football. He had to go somewhere else where he would have a guaranteed opportunity to start. There are plenty of schools that make sense. Miami of Ohio is coached by Chuck Martin and he could really dominate the MAC. He could dominate the Big Ten if he went to Michigan. How about Oregon or Florida State with their big name quarterbacks now in the NFL?
All those schools seem viable but it is looking like he is going to the SEC to play for either South Carolina or Georgia. There he will have a legendary coach in either Steve Spurrier or Mark Richt. I still think LSU is a possibility. But whatever Golson decides, I will root for that team as long as they are not playing Notre Dame.
Good Luck Everett Golson and thank you.