In what probably won’t come as a surprise to Notre Dame Fighting Irish football fans, Everett Golson was named the starting quarterback for the 2014 season on Wednesday. Golson spent most of the summer, as well as spring football earlier this year, competing for the starting job against sophomore Malik Zaire.
Even though many suspected that head coach Brian Kelly planned on having Golson start under center all along, he did actually give Zaire serious consideration for the job. While Golson’s achievements with the Irish speak for themselves, you can’t forget the fact that he did not play a down of football in 2013.
Golson was re-admitted into Notre Dame in December after correcting the academic issues that got him booted from the school in the first place. He also kept his football skills sharp by training with famous quarterback guru George Whitfield. Now coach Kelly is hopeful that he can lead the Irish back to prominence.
Gone now is the Bowl Championship Series and in it’s place is the new College Football Playoff. A playoff which will only include four teams at season’s end -compared to the 10 teams that the BCS had- so there is even more pressure for Notre Dame to succeed this year. Kelly feels that experience will get them to the postseason, and he feels that he gets that experience from Golson.
While Zaire made no secrets about his disappointment over Kelly’s decision, he trusts his coach when it’s all said and done. And his coach has assured him that if any unforeseen circumstances arise, he will get his chance to lead the Golden Domer’s. Kelly has also said that Zaire worked so hard over these last few months that he surpassed senior Charlie Fiessinger on the depth chart.
Now that the ultimate question heading into the season has been answered, the Irish can now fully focus on the task that lies ahead. Notre Dame opens up the season at home in South Bend against Rice on August 30th. Follow me on Twitter @GabeSalgado82