The faith of Notre Dame fans has been rewarded, as head coach Brian Kelly named sophomore Everett Golson as starting quarterback. Originally reported by NBC Sports's Keith Arnold and confirmed by the Chicago Tribune later in the morning, the announcement of the starter for the Fighting Irish's opener against Navy in Dublin was made after practice Thursday.
|Golson named starter vs Navy|
Golson, who redshirted last year, was in a race with junior Andrew Hendrix and highly-touted freshman Gunner Kiel. Returning starter Tommy Rees was eliminated from contention following a one-game suspension announced in July. Due to injury and turnover problems, the Irish have cycled through four different quarterbacks since Kelly took over prior to the 2010 season.
Originally a North Carolina verbal commitment, Golson flipped to the Irish during the fall of 2010. A man of many talents, Golson led Myrtle Beach High School to state titles in both football (over South Carolina defensive phenom Jadeveon Clowney) and basketball (as point guard) while being such a talented musician that his high school orchestra teacher broke down in tears when she learned he was dropping her class. There was talk of Golson getting on the field last fall, but Kelly was patient, letting the freshman adjust to the difficulties of a college curriculum while playing on the scout team.
"I thought I was ready to compete for the starting spot," said Golson, the sixth-most prolific TD thrower in U.S. high school history. "Going through fall camp, I kind of saw my reps go down a little bit. I was a little bit discouraged at first.
"It kind of humbled me. Now, that I look back at it, I'm glad I went down to the scout team, 'cause it made me realize I have to start at ground zero and work my way back up."
"What helped me tremendously was grinding in the film room," Golson said, "being persistent, for long hours, knowing I have to get this in order for me to have a chance to be the starting quarterback.