Breaking news, rankings, predictions and analysis all in one place.

Spring Football '14: Golson Reinstated at Notre Dame

Everett Golson
At this time last season, Everett Golson was planning to enter his sophomore year and hoping to lead Notre Dame back to a national championship after performing extremely well in his first year as starter with the Fighting Irish. Then, a cheating incident hit ad Golson was dismissed from the team, leaving Notre Dame in an odd position without a quarterback just a couple months before the year. Luckily, senior Tommy Rees was experienced and managed to step in and play very well for Notre Dame. Now, Rees is graduated and Golson is back on the team making for an interesting story in South Bend. Golson was fantastic in his redshirt freshman year with Notre Dame but can he readjust to the college game after a year off and without the abundance of playmakers that he had in that championship run?

In his lone year, with the Irish Golson threw for 2,405 yards and 12 touchdowns and proved to be a superb leader, despite being very inexperienced. Youth was apparent throughout his freshman year; he had confidence issues, arm strength and had trouble recognizing defenses. Although we haven't seen a ton from Golson this spring we have seen a ton of improvement. His arm looks very strong and he looks more comfortable in the pocket, even when he is under pressure. So with improvement wouldn't the assumption be Golson should just come in and fill in for Rees? Enter Malik Zaire, a left-handed redshirt freshman with excellent mobility and the potential to be quite the star. Zaire has been impressive enough to force a heated quarterback competition between him and Golson. Spring practices can only say so much about a player and both have shown flashes of being great players. Zaire, a 6'1" prospect from Kettering, Ohio has a very high ceiling but he is still very raw at the moment. He is strong and athletic, faster than Golson, but accuracy has been an issue for so far and he still has to prove he has the understanding of the offense that Golson has. Zaire has drawn comparisons to former Clemson QB Tajh Boyd because of the athleticism he possesses, he isn't very accurate and doesn't have the arm strength of Golson but he can make fabulous throws. Although he lacks consistency, Zaire can wow you at times. The thing that could really put Golson ahead of Zaire is his experience; the sophomore has seen real live action and some of the defenses he played in 2012-2013 were fantastic, teams like Oklahoma, Stanford and Alabama in the championship game.

It was a year off from football for Golson but he should show real improvement because he worked very hard last year and last fall. Golson worked with quarterback guru George Whitfield and has shown signs of becoming a smarter and more efficient QB. He also has worked with Coach Brian Kelly and attempted to connect with his coaches, along with looking through hours of film and trying to see the field better.

Kelly and offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock are in no hurry to name a quarterback in a competition that will likely go right down to Notre Dame's first game, August 30th against Rice. The spring game this Saturday will go a long way in determining who should come up on top in the competition. Golson certainly has shown loads of improvement so far this spring but he still has prove that even after a year away from live action he can still play at a high level. If he doesn't, rising freshman Zaire could overtake him and be the starter on August 30th.

View my complete 2014-2015 Notre Dame preview in my College Football Preview 2014-2015, coming out later this spring.

No comments:

Theme images by LUGO. Powered by Blogger.