Golden Opportunities Await Everett Golson’s Return

Everett Golson Returns to Notre Dame
Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson (5) throws a pass against the Southern California Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

When starting Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson was dismissed from the team for the entire 2013 football season due to poor academic judgment, his future became as ungraspable as the unorthodox way Golson handles the laces of a football. Would Everett transfer? Would he wait out his suspension at a local community college in his native South Carolina for the semester and make a triumphant return?

The answer was none of the above. Golson utilized the free semester by hiring private quarterback guru George Whitfield, the same quarterback coach who worked with Texas A&M superstar Johnny Manziel before Johnny Football became a household name. Whitfield refined Golson’s footwork and throwing motion – he now employs the laces when releasing – and helped him add 17 pounds of muscle to his formerly lanky frame. While Irish fans will celebrate the return of a seasoned, well-coached passer, one astute observer posed an interesting question to CBS Sports columnist Bruce Feldman who had spent time with Golson as he trained: who pays for such tutelage?

Feldman reported the cost of such instruction is in the neighborhood of $7,500-$8,000 and is attributed to the athlete himself.

“At this point, I don’t know if it’s politically correct to say it like this, but it’s a business decision for me,” Golson stated. “I’m hoping that it’ll pay off in the future.”

A business decision?

Irish recruitniks will recognize such phrasing from former No. 1 high school quarterback commitment Jimmy Clausen, who selected Notre Dame in large part to former head coach Charlie Weis’ NFL pedigree and connections rather than any emotional attachment to the university.

Everett Golson in the NFL?

Could a six foot signal caller rated as a 3-star recruit out of high school instead of a 4-star simply due to a lack of size actually play football on Sundays? The notion of a spread, dual-threat quarterback playing in the NFL – a source of comic fodder for scouts a mere decade ago – has transitioned from absurdity to vogue as quickly as an up-tempo offense rushes to the line of scrimmage.

The path to the NFL for scrambling quarterbacks has been blazed by the successes of emerging stars like Colin Kaepernick of San Francisco, Cam Newton from the Carolina Panthers, and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, all of whom are still in the NFL playoffs. Such a list doesn’t even include other scrambling threats like Robert Griffin III, Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel.

And the infiltration of rushing quarterbacks is only beginning.

Louisville signal caller and dual-threat Teddy Bridgewater is being discussed as a potential first overall pick to the Houston Texas. Several mock drafts have former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel ending up as a first round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns, and UCLA Bruin Brett Hundley was also considered a likely first round selection before his decision to stay for his junior year. Not even height – a former impenetrable glass ceiling – seems to be an obstacle on the path to the NFL, with Russell Wilson listed at 5’11” and Manziel generously listed as 6’1”.

The mad dash to draft a dual-threat is being bolstered by an invasion of college coaches within the NFL ranks. Former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly has joined the likes of Jim Harbaugh, Pete Carroll, Doug Marone and, most recently, Bill O’Brien, as college coaches who have entered the NFL, and that’s just the tipping point. Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano brought in former Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton to assist star quarterback Andrew Luck in his development, and recently hired Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith reeled in former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford as his offensive coordinator, marking Tedford’s first stint coaching within the professional ranks.

As college philosophies and quarterbacks become more chic to the NFL, so will the coaches. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the recently vacated Cleveland Browns position, as has Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin and Auburn head man Gus Malzahn. Stanford head coach David Shaw was mentioned in NFL circles until he expressed a desire to stay in Palo Alto, as was Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin until signing a contract extension that will keep him in College Station for the foreseeable future. Even Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly expressed interest in the NFL, accepting an interview with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013.

Was Everett Golson’s “business decision” a wise one? Johnny Manziel would likely think so, having told media outlets last January that he sees a bit of himself in the Fighting Irish quarterback.

“Me being a little more mobile [helps] create some stuff, and I feel like Everett in the same sense can do some of that – I feel like he can escape when he needs to and make the throws when he needs to.”

Whether or not Golson can live up to Manziel’s comparison remains to be seen, but the opportunities for Everett in 2014 are as golden as the helmet he will once again wear next fall.

Scott Janssen is a blogger for the Huffington Post and has authored several nationally-featured articles, as well as appeared on MSNBC as a sports contributor. In his spare time he takes his NCAA Football ’13 online dynasty way too seriously and alienates those around him by discussing football 24 hours a day. Scott can be reached at [email protected]

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    1. That’s almost two weeks old and there hasn’t been any major news outlets that have linked Kelly to NFL jobs this off-season.

      1. FACT – Sex Panther by Odeon is a fantastic cologne that I’ll be wearing tonight. It’s illegal in nine countries. Yep. It’s made with bits of real panther, so you know it’s good.They’ve done studies, you know? 60% of the time, it works every time.

      2. ShazBoobyGundy,

        FACT – Impressive!
        And it takes all three of your brain cells to reach that ultrasophisticated conclusion! Advice: Check yourself into the nearest hospital and let the big ‘O’ death panels decide what to do with you!

        Happy Trails!

      3. Yesterday you told poor old Shaz to drop dead and now this.

        Question: What name do I check in under at the hospital? You’ve got me confused as to my identity??

      4. Really! That changes your calculus? Congrats, you now qualify for duranko’s coveted “Princess on a pea award!” Take a bow!

  1. “But I barely knew Mike growing up!” So began Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops curious “I barely met the man” denial when confronted, shortly before OU polished off FSU in the 2000 BCS championship, 13-2. Virulent, bile and drool spilling anti-nepotists and members of the “Hire Strangers” branch of Al Qaeda had confronted Stoops about hiring a man, Mike Stoops, alleged to be his brother. (In related news, Mike Stoops after a sojourn to Tucson would later return to work on Bob Stoops’s staff as they prepared to, then beat defending National Champ Alabama in the 2014 Orange Bowl.

    The protesters, then, fueling themselves on moon pies and RC Cola, took a greyhound to columbia South Carolina, to see “The Old Ball Coach”
    Steve Spurrier to ask him why Spurrier’s wife’s son was working as an assistant for Spurrier on the Gamecock staff. Spurrier gave that look and said “I’m glad you asked!”

    “You see it’s a trick I learned from two national championship coaches. My predecessor at south Carolina, one Louis Leo Holtz, hired his son twice as his offensive coordinator, once at Notre Dame and once in Columbia. And that old Tallahasee Swamp Fox, Bowden, who won a couple with the ‘Noles, had several of his sons coach on his staff while he was on his magical run.”

    So THERE!

    The protesters begin blowing chunks of RC soaked Moon Pies as they became increasingly apoplectic! Don’t confuse us with FACTS! They shouted. Just because you and Stoops and Bowden and Holtz won 5 National Championships means nothing to us. We never let facts trump our ideology!!

    New millennium,,,,, same tired, sad, pathetic story…….

  2. Jack,

    It no surprise BK will hire from the ranks or his network!
    BK can promote the waterboy to OC if he so desires. Whoever he decides to hire is his exclusive choice. Furthermore, if he has a special relationship out side his network and decides to hire them so be it! Imposter duranko does not have all the claimed answers he think he has! However, I will give him an A+ for all of the ‘blanket’ calumny he spews on this site. Only the final authority is God!

  3. Jack, one of the most famous case studies proving the principle that you set forth was when Pete Carroll was very comfortable rushing the esteemed
    Norm Chow out the door and letting Sarkisian and Kiffin coordinate the offense afterward.

    And, Jack, remember this when all the pharasaic faux Notre Dame purists, traditionalists and Templars come a whinin’.

    Ara Raoul Parseghian, and we are nearly fifty years from that glorious night on the Sorin steps was so interested in getting ‘OUTSIDE INPUT’
    that he reached, oh, about four feet and selected a young kid from Akron (the irony of this is just delicious) who played and succeeded at Miami (O) for one Ara Raoul Parseghian when he coached the then Redskins.
    And that guy might have been an assistant under Ara at Northwestern
    from 1960-1963. Some guy named Tom Pagna.

    I offer this, Jack, with recognition that I may be confusing the issue with some facts. REAL FACTS. NOTRE DAME facts.

  4. GAIII declared for the draft. Good Luck in the NFL.

    You guys that want this great offensive coordinator, A big name are kidding yourself. Coaches that are offensive coaches want people that are familiar with their system. The coach at Auburn’s offensive coordinator played for him in high school. There offense was amazing this year.

  5. Manziel’s comments are surprisingly lucid. In no way does Golson have the running skills of Newton, Griffin, Hundley, Boyd, Mauk or Manziel (that late TD sprint by Manziel against Duke is a skill which Golson doesn’t possess.)

    He does have escapability.

    Per Manziel “I feel like he can escape when he needs to and make the throws when he needs to.” Golson gained 415 yards in 2012 before netting out sacks that gave him an official total 0f 298. His long run was 27 yards.

    Manziel has it right. The escapability is sound, the running threat, not so much.

  6. I think it is a stretch to call Teddy Bridgewater a “dual threat” QB. He’s arguably the best pure passer in the draft. He has good athleticism, but doesn’t run. He’s a pocket QB with escapability.

  7. All I will say is if Kelly doesn’t hire a big time o’coordinator who knows how to utilize the talent Notre Dame has it won’t matter if its Golson or someone else.

    1. Pete,

      I would love to agree with you on this one. Albeit, I just don’t see on the horizon any big time OC who would want to work for BK. Further, I will not be surprised if BK decides step in and call plays on both sides of the ball this year. I like your idea though!

  8. I don’t have a problem with EG dreaming of being in the NFL. A lot of college players do. I’m thrilled to have him back for next year. His work should help the Irish, which is what is the most important thing for now. He does have great potential, but as others have noted, he still has to prove he is NFL caliber.

    QB is one area ND should be well stocked at. Zaire should have much the same abilities as EG in the future, so I’m not as concerned about losing EG early to the NFL as I am about losing someone like Tuitt.

    I do think Kelly should get Zaire some meaningful playing time this year. Since his redshirt was preserved last year, there’s no reason not to get Zaire involved some in the games.

  9. JC

    Seems like the author of this article is giving BK a four year pass due to being stuck with CWs recruits who dont fit his style of play. IMO most of BKs key contributors the last four years have been CWs recruits. Were now heading into year 5 for BK and were still thin on the defensive front seven and the QB situation has been poor his entire tenure. Its taken him 5yrs to finally have four quality dual threat QBs lined up. Way to long IMO. Yes 2014 is a critical year for BK.

    1. Jeff,

      There is definitely a third element, will BK welcome EG back with (real) open arms? Mostly, everyone here assumes so. Heisman hopeful Cierre Wood found out the hard way BK does not like egg on his face. I think we will see what kind of year we will have based on BK’s pick of the QB litter. I’m thinking EG is the likely starter. However, our usual BK spring ‘drama’ practice may very well produce a different result. It’s one thing to say you’re sorry and another to leaving your head coach holding the bag for a highly perceived possible championship year! Yes indeed, 2014 will be the year without any CW recruits to blame! Oh my, what will we do? Only the positive test of time will tell.

  10. Golson was not “dismissed from the team,” and it was not for “poor academic judgment.” As everyone knows by now, he was expelled from the University. That is a much bigger deal than just being dismissed from the team. And he was expelled for cheating, not for poor judgment.

    However, he certainly will be back. Whether he will play in the NFL is another matter. You mention a number of NFL quarterbacks who can run. However, only Wilson is as short as Golson. The others are considerably taller. Equally important, Golson has not demonstrated yet that he is a NFL caliber quarterback. So comparing him to Kaepernick or Griffin or the others is silly. Golson may yet prove himself. But if you think he was a three-star in high school “simply due to lack of size,” you should get new rose-colored glasses.

    He may learn the quarterback position and he may play above his ratings. However, that remains to be seen.

    1. Old school,

      Golson was expelled from the school, yes…. and he was also readmitted with a full scholarship, that to me seems the bigger deal.

      No QB demonstrates whether they are a NFL caliber, until they actually play in the NFL.

      Golson finished the 2012 season ranked as the 22nd best DIV-1 QB in college football.
      He holds a 11-1 record as a starter.
      He passed for over 2400 yards, 12 TD’s and rushed for 5 more, plus one very important 2pt conversion.

      He has also started, and played well, in a BCS National Championship game.

      The way I see it, he has already proven that he has learned the position and already exceeded your so called ratings dispite your overly bias opinion against him.

      Now if you really want to view what remains to be seen, I suggest you forget the rose colored specs and just think about maybe getting a thicker pair of what you already have.

      1. Shazamrock replied on January 6th, 2014 at 11:59 am


        I got Nominated for managing to find positive facts!
        (Pretty cool huh)

        Yeah, he even stuff’s the positive facts up your a$$ too, at no addition charge!” My my, such a positive fact guy! Yes indeed pretty cool, huh?

        Seems like the SFBoberina Nomination awards was rigged bias…I wonder why? Will the real SFB please stand up? But say it ain’t so…woooo hoooo!

        RB=Shaz=SFB Vote!

      2. Rigged? Really? Are you sure?

        I love this positive fact:

        I got nominated for finding positive facts.

        You got nominated for being a D-bag. HAR, HAR!

        But at least it wasn’t a giant D-Bag!
        So there’s a positive fact of your own to build on.

        Now get to work Squishy!

      3. Yeah, you got nominated alright, by a real credible make believe source Mr. wonderful! So drop dead gasbag!

      4. Wow, that escalated quickly! Gotta keep your head on a swivel in a vicious cock fight.

      5. You have for give him…

        “The human torch was denied a bank loan”

        -Ron Burgundy-

        Brought to by: Mr.Wonderful

  11. I agree Scott, the sky is the limit for EG now that he has indeed returned. I still don’t see Zaire watching EG play. Albeit, with EG’s return it is now a moot point. Let the cards fall where they fall. EG will definitely make the offense dynamic.

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