Notre Dame football players reported back to campus on Sunday for the summer semester, but not all of the 2014 Fighting Irish spent their time away from campus relaxing. Everett Golson, Notre Dame’s almost certain starting quarterback for the fall, spent his time off honing his craft with quarterback guru George Whitfield along side some fellow signal callers.
Golson, along with Baylor’s Bryce Petty, Michigan State’s Connor Cook, Virginia’s David Watford, and other aspiring elite NCAA quarterbacks, spent the last week plus training with Whitfield at his “Dime City” camp for #QBSharkWeek. As you can see from the Tweets below from Whitfield, that work included both time on the field and in film study.
— George Whitfield Jr. (@georgewhitfield) June 1, 2014
— George Whitfield Jr. (@georgewhitfield) May 31, 2014
Golson will benefit from all oft he extra work he can get right now after missing all of 2013 following his poor academic judgement. He played well in the spring for Notre Dame after being reinstated, but he also looked rusty at times and very much like a quarterback who was away from the field for a while.
Training with Whitfield is nothing new to Golson either. While his teammates trudged through an up and down 2013 season, Golson worked with the renowned quarterback guru whilst in exile. Golson used that time to focus on the intricacies of the position – something he hadn’t done in the past as he was able to get by on raw talent alone.
Coming out of his time with Whitfield, Golson made improvements like gripping the football by the laces. That may sound elementary, but it was something that he hadn’t done in the past. Given all of the other work the Irish coaching staff had done with Golson before his departure, it was also something they hadn’t had a chance to work.
Golson has not yet been named the starting quarterback for Notre Dame this fall, but while Malik Zaire showed that he is more than capable of making plays in the Blue-Gold game in April, it would be a shock to me at this point if Golson were not the starting quarterback on August 30.
Goslon is preparing like someone who thinks he will be the starting quarterback this fall as well and not just because he spent the last week of his break running through drills at Whitfield’s academy. Brian Kelly praised Golson’s practice skills in off-season interviews when talking about the differences between his two quarterbacks vying for the starting role. Those types of comments were not the norm the last time Golson was in a battle for the starting quarterback position for the Fighting Irish.
So far all indications are that Golson has returned to Notre Dame focused and dedicated to winning on the field and more importantly, in the classroom since that is the area that has him in locked in a battle with Zaire in the first place. Spending his free time working at getting better is just another indication of that dedication.
Golson’s work with Whitfield is also a stark contrast to how the South Carolina spent his Memorial Day this year as opposed to last. If you remember, it was last Memorial Day weekend that we learned of Golson’s academic shortcomings and subsequent punishment. A year later, a refocused Everett Golson has his sights set on recapturing the starting quarterback position he surrendered a year ago by falling short off the field.
As the players all report back to campus and participate in off-season drills on their own, look for Golson to step into more of a leadership role – something he had begun to do last spring before learning that he would not be a part of the University for the fall semester.