Everett Golson was back in his home town of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina over the holiday weekend and confirmed with local reporters that he will be returning to Notre Dame after being suspended from the University for the fall semester.
“I will be returning. I look forward to returning in the spring. That’s pretty much it,” Golson told WPDE (full video below) on Saturday from a local gym that Golson was at for a charity basketball game.
Ever since Brian Kelly first publicly spoke about Golson after it was learned that he would not be enrolled at Notre Dame this fall due to “poor academic judgement” it has been reported that the plan all along was for Golson to return to Notre Dame in the spring. Golson’s comments on Saturday only add further confirmation.
What is key about Golson’s return is how the Irish coaching staff can approach quarterback recruiting for this year and next. Assuming Golson returns, the Irish are in great shape at the quarterback position with Malik Zaire currently a freshman and DeShone Kizer committed as part of this year’s recruiting class.
This past week in Oregon at the Opening, Kizer participated in the Elite 11 competition and while the talented, but raw passer did not make the final 11, he did flash the potential that has the Notre Dame coaching staff as high on him as they are.
Had Golson decided against returning and went the transfer route, Notre Dame very likely would have had to look to add a second quarterback in this year’s class. Without Golson in 2013 and without a second quarterback in this class, they would have been faced with the prospect of potentially having just two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster next fall – Zaire and Kizer – with Tommy Rees running out of eligibility and there not being any guarantee that Andrew Hendrix returns for a 5th season in 2014.
Golson would not get into the specifics of his “poor academic judgement” in the interview, but did say that he has been working out. There have been some rumors that he would be working with renowned quarterback guru George Whitfield, but so far there has not been any confirmation of those reports. A full year away from football would be detrimental to Golson’s development which would make working with a quarterback coach such as Whitfiled key in Golson returning in the spring ready to win back the starting quarterback role he has lost by not being enrolled this fall.
When Golson does return, assuming he handles all of his academic affairs and is able to return, the Notre Dame quarterback depth chart will include him, Zaire, and Kizer – all of whom will be on campus for next year’s spring camp with Kizer planning on enrolling early. That will set up another quarterback derby for Notre Dame as Kelly is not likely to simply hand the reigns back over to Golson. Rather, look for Kelly and staff to make Golson win the job back – a task that could be complicated if Zaire is forced into action this year and gains valuable experience.