After serving a suspension over the fall semester last season for using "poor judgement on a test," quarterback Everett Golson returned to the Notre Dame football program this fall. Now, Golson has reportedly earned back the starting quarterback job, beating out sophomore Malik Zaire.
Irish coach Brian Kelly revealed the news Wednesday that Golson will start the season opener against Rice, per Dan Murphy of 247Sports:
Rachel Terlep of the Elkhart Truth provides comments from Golson:
Everett Golson: “Malik is a tremendous quarterback. I think when he does get on the field, I think he is going to shine."— Rachel Terlep (@eTruth_Irish) August 13, 2014
#NotreDame QB Everett Golson on leadership: “I take responsibility that this is my team. In 2012 we had Zack Martin, Manti."— Rachel Terlep (@eTruth_Irish) August 13, 2014
Everett Golson on his journey back to starting: “In that regard, it is an accomplishment - knowing everything that has transpired."— Rachel Terlep (@eTruth_Irish) August 13, 2014
The last time Golson was under center for Notre Dame was in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. Though the Irish lost that contest to Alabama, 42-14, Golson had a breakout season with 2,405 passing yards, 18 total touchdowns and just six interceptions.
Last May, Notre Dame suspended Golson for the fall semester for violating the honor code, causing him to miss the entire 2013 season. Though he had to fight to earn the spot back, Golson had this reaction to the news, per Matt Fortuna of ESPN.com:
Not much of a reaction from Everett Golson, per Kelly: "Matter of fact. 'OK, Coach.' " #NotreDame— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) August 13, 2014
Both Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports and Bryan Fischer of NFL.com passed along their thoughts on Golson being reinstated as Notre Dame's starting QB:
In the shock of all shocks Brian Kelly announces that Everett Golson will be Notre Dame’s starting QB this season.— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) August 13, 2014
You guys are gonna be shocked by this but Notre Dame says Everett Golson is Irish’s starting QB.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 13, 2014
How many games will Notre Dame win with Golson under center?
Notre Dame comes in as the No. 17 team in the country on the USA Today poll and has plenty of buzz surrounding the program. Luckily, Golson is used to dealing with pressure on the field.
In order to lead the Irish to another undefeated regular season, Golson must overcome a tough slate. Rice will be a good warm-up contest for matchups against Michigan in Week 2 along with Stanford, North Carolina and Florida State in October.
After a 9-4 season in 2013, the Irish now have their leader back on offense. But with an absurd schedule on the docket, Notre Dame can't afford many slip-ups if they plan on making it to the first College Football Playoff.
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