|Photo / Matt Cashore|
The decision as to who will start at QB for Notre Dame is by far the most eagerly awaited coaching decision this off season.
Fighting Irish fans "should" know more in early August as to who is entrusted with Brian Kellys' faith to carry his team through a daunting 2012 schedule.
That been said, last year Coach Kelly kept the Notre Dame faithful in suspense right up until about a week before kickoff prior to choosing Dayne Crist over Tommy Rees for the 2011 campaign.
Despite a press conference scheduled for this Friday with Brian Kelly, I don't see anything to suggest that we, as fans, should expect any decision on who he nominates as starter until deep into August.....I'll be stunned of Kelly names a starter this week.
I do feel that the race has narrowed though between Tommy Rees and Everett Golson.
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Thomas Kevin Rees had a miserable Bowl game against Florida State. Why stop there? For the most part of the 2012 season, Rees, never really stood out apart from one game.
Tommy's highlight for me came against the Michigan Wolverines in a night game, where he lead the Irish the length of the field in the closing minutes to put Notre Dame ahead 31-28 on a 29 yard toss to a wide open Theo Riddick with only 30 seconds remaining on the clock.
The Fighting Irish went on to lose that game, 35-31, on epic defensive collapse in the closing seconds......but that was not on Tommy Rees.
However, Rees' season largely consisted games lost because of turnovers or poor decisions. He has been criticised for not being able to deliver the goods in the big game (contrary to his performance in the Michigan game). His inability to extend the play due to lack of athleticism in the pocket has been the focal point amongst fans who wish to see a change at the single most important position on the football field.
Enter Everett Golson. The highly touted dual threat QB out of Myrtle Beach, SC, shone in the Blue Gold game going 11-15 for 120 yards and two touchdowns, the only touchdown passes in the game. He also rushed for 25 yards on six carries. Most importantly, he didn't turn the ball over whereas all other Irish quarterbacks threw an interception.
Golson's strength comes by way of releasing 2/3'rds of the Brian Kelly playbook to run, which Tommy Rees can not. Golson has freakish athleticism. He is not you typical spread option run-first throw-second QB. Golson likes to survey the field first and has that clock ticking QB instinct to take off just when the pressure arrives.....thus extending the play.
Who starts is still a flip of the coin, but every Notre Dame fan and their mother knows that the future for success at the QB position lies square on Everett Golson's shoulders.
It should come as no surprise then that Golson's biggest weakness is Tommy's best chance of starting against Navy in Dublin........ experience!
Jason is owner and author of godcountrynotredame.me and writes for both IrishCentral and domersportsreport You can find Jason on twitter at @jayomahony