Anytime you are the quarterback for Notre Dame, you are going to be talked about quite a bit. Everything you do is magnified and you are held to a higher standard than most quarterbacks in college football.
So with that being said, in a college football age where running quarterbacks have become the norm, where does Everett Golson rank among dual-threat quarterbacks?
Usually I prefer to throw all quarterbacks in the same boat because a quarterback is a quarterback is a quarter...you get the idea.
However, Golson clearly hasn't established himself enough yet to be thrown into the entire QB melting pot just yet, so we are only going to compare him to other guys with similar skill sets at the moment.
To do this, I have broken down the dual-threat quarterbacks into three different tiers. You basically have your elite, guys who have shown promise and players who make you cringe and cheer at the same time.
Let's take a look at where Golson sits as he enters his second full season at the position.
Give Me That Guy, Please
These are the players who you have absolutely zero doubts about.
They have proven themselves for at least an entire season and have shown enough consistency to be considered elite. More than capable of taking over a football game, these quarterbacks put their team on their back and are the workhorse for their respective offenses.
There isn't a defense bailing them out each week, and they don't need to rely on a stable of running backs as they "manage" the game. These are the quarterbacks that could start anywhere in the country and be successful.
Being a threat throwing the football and running, these are the complete players who have already established themselves at the position.
This list is a selective few, but it would include: Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, Braxton Miller of Ohio State, Marcus Mariota of Oregon, Tajh Boyd of Clemson and Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois.
All of those quarterbacks have shown they are more than capable of playing the position at a high level. But most importantly, they have shown this on a consistent basis, doing more than enough to convince fans that they have everything under control.
Golson still has a lot to show before he can be thrown into this category.
Not even guaranteed a starting job next season, he must improve his decision-making, accuracy and take better command of the team. Of course, he is a young kid who has many years to continue to mature as a player and work on his craft, but he is at least a full year away from being considered the best of the best.
Is it possible that Golson is able to take that next step this season?
Sure. I am giving him a shot to win the Heisman if he can continue to take steps in the right direction, but he has a ways to go before being considered as one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks.
I'm Loving It
This is where Golson sits at the moment.
This tier of players isn't great and includes players that still are a little raw at their position, but their potential is through the roof. These are quarterbacks you could build your team around, and with a little bit of coaching, coaches could turn these signal-callers into the next great thing.
They may still need to learn when not to run the football, how to make proper reads and to stop throwing the ball in double coverage, but the skill set is there.
Another thing to like from this group is that all of them are young. With only a year of experience under their belt, they all have the chance to take their game to new heights, becoming the quarterback many thought they could be.
Once again, the list is a short one, but all of them can become that new wave dual-threat as early as next season. This includes: Brett Hundley of UCLA, Devin Gardner of Michigan, Jeff Driskel of Florida and—of course—Golson.
All of those players have shown flashes of something special, despite the fact that they are still young.
What Golson needs to work on has been well documented, particularly keeping his eyes down field and making better decisions with the ball. Fans would also like to see him be more effective with his legs than he was his first season on the field.
However, these are all easy things that Golson can fix or techniques he can add to his toolbox in no time.
He was a highly recruited player coming out of high school for a reason. He also has a real shot to be the next great quarterback at Notre Dame. The kid can play.
Now, we are waiting for him to blossom into a superstar and climb up into that top tier.
Close Your Eyes and Pray
The last group of quarterbacks is the Jekyll and Hyde bunch.
You never quite know what you are going to get in any given week.
These guys have the ability to absolutely shred a defense one week and turn the ball over four times and cost their team the game the next. To fans, their lack of consistency and uncertainty at QB are terrifying aspects of their game.
While this tier includes experienced quarterbacks that could pull off a string of brilliant games, their experience makes them stuck in their ways. You get the feeling that they will never develop the type of consistency it takes to be great, and those horrifying performances always seem to overshadow the impressive showings.
Some of the signal-callers that I just don't see turning things around include: Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech, Taylor Martinez of Nebraska and Connor Shaw of South Carolina.
One minute these guys show you that they can truly be counted on to lead their team to victory, and the next, they end up throwing the interception that costs their team the game.
Due to these players being upperclassmen and building this reputation over the years, it is something you have to deal with as a coaching staff and just hope things don't get too ugly.
Golson has not fallen to this level because the kid has only been on the field for one season.
In fact, it wasn't even a complete season, because he was constantly removed from the game after making a mistake.
Unfortunately for him, Notre Dame has enough options at QB to allow him to fall into this category.
It is only a question of whether he is going to remain a quarterback with upside or end up taking that step into elite status.
This season will help to answer that question.
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