The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were clearly disappointed after being dominated in the BCS National Championship. However, they found a young quarterback who showed some serious potential in Everett Golson.
Golson was only a redshirt freshman in the 2012 season but was able to help bring his team to the National Championship. The Irish finished the regular season 12-0, the first time they finished the regular season undefeated since 1988.
The numbers for Golson weren’t that bad. He threw for 2,405 yards with 12 passing touchdowns and six interceptions. He made some good plays with both his feet and arm.
The problem with Golson was his accuracy.
He wasn’t the most precise quarterback in the country and sometimes struggled squeezing throws through small windows. His completion percentage was only 58.8. It could’ve been higher.
In 2013, Golson will be a real threat against opposing defenses. He showed he could be a dual-threat quarterback at times and scored both running and passing the ball.
Golson’s decision making will be one of the bigger improvements over the offseason.
When he was leading this team last season, it was his first season on the field. There was a lot of pressure on him to succeed, and he tried making big plays too often. Next season, Golson will have had an entire offseason as the starter and will be working a lot with coaches to improve on the decisions he made.
One of the things the Golson really had going for him was the mobility in the pocket. While he didn’t tuck the ball and run too often, he was certainly able to extend plays with his legs. His ability to keep plays alive helped receivers to get open and usually led to positive yardage as opposed to a big sack.
Something that Golson didn’t show often was arm strength.
He didn’t throw the ball downfield a lot—but when he did, it was quite impressive. One play that comes to mind was against the Oklahoma Sooners. Golson was able to step up in the pocket and bomb a big pass downfield, hitting the receiver in stride for a 50-yard gain.
Overall, Golson is still a young player with a lot of upside.
He showed that he has a lot of tools to be a successful college player, but he will need to show them off more than he did in his first season.
With a year under his belt, expect Brian Kelly to let him loose a little more in 2013.