Notre Dame finished 2012 with a 12-1 record and finally found a starting quarterback that looked the part. Everett Golson finished the year as the Fighting Irish starting quarterback, but that doesn’t mean the quarterback controversy is over in South Bend.
In fact, the race for the starting quarterback position will pick up again this offseason.
The Irish will have Golson, Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix and Gunner Kiel all competing for the starting job. Kiel was one of the best quarterbacks in the country in the 2012 recruiting class, and both Rees and Hendrix have experience that helps them in the race.
Everett Golson will be the favorite to keep the job. The coaching staff may come out and deny a race for the starting job, but to say that there won’t be a competition with the level of talent on roster is ridiculous.
Notre Dame was a few big plays away from staying in the game against Alabama in Miami. The Irish needed a big passing play to hit or a run to break free and get the offense rolling. Those things never happened.
Instead, the Irish defense was on the field for a large chunk of the first half, making it impossible to stop the powerful ground game of the Crimson Tide. The Notre Dame defense was trying to win the game, and it made for missed tackles and big gains for the Alabama offense.
There was a need for the offense to find consistency and for the quarterback to show leadership. Golson didn’t have a terrible day for the Irish, completing nearly 60 percent of his passes and throwing for 270 yards, but he couldn’t lead Notre Dame to victory.
He could gain confidence in the future and learn from the loss, or the Irish could move in another direction with the hope that they can find a leader that can push the offense to the next level.
The quarterback development for the Irish will be one of the most interesting developments of the 2013 offseason. Look for Notre Dame to be back in the national discussion to start the year regardless, but with Golson leading the charge, they will be a favorite to return to a BCS bowl.
Still, this needs to be an open competition. The Irish have a lot of talent and experience at the position. Brian Kelly knows the talent available and will find the best answer for Notre Dame.
Between the four talented signal-callers on campus, Notre Dame should be able to find a title winner in the mix. The future of the Notre Dame offense looks bright with the options available to the Irish.