Stability has never been a quality of the quarterback position during the tenure of Brian Kelly at Notre Dame and it looks like that could be continuing. Earlier today Times Picayune reporter Jim Kleinpeter published a report that Notre Dame’s Everett Golson inquired about a transfer to LSU.
Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson, who played against LSU less than a week ago, is interested in becoming a Tiger. The senior, who is scheduled to graduate in May, has reached out to LSU about transferring there for his final season of NCAA eligibility.
Three months ago, who would have ever thought a report such as this – even if it proves to be untrue – would even be remotely believable? At the begining of October Golson had guided Notre Dame to a 6-0 start while tossing 16 touchdowns and running for another 4 heading into Notre Dame’s showdown with Florida State. A 1-5 finish over the final six games and a demotion for the Music City Bowl later, however, and such a report doesn’t sound too outlandish.
Before everyone starts freaking out or blasting a young man who owned up to his mistakes stayed at Notre Dame following his academic problems when he could have easily transferred, let’s review what we know as of now.
Golson Issues Tweetial
Shortly after the report from the Times Picayune was published, Golson took to Twitter and issued a denial of sorts.
Don't believe everything you hear..
— Everett Golson (@Everett_Golson5) January 5, 2015
Now, Golson didn’t come out an say unequivocally that he wasn’t thinking about transferring or that a transfer wasn’t a possibility for him after he lost his strting job to Malik Zaire for the Music City Bowl, but the timing of his tweet suggests that his message was anything but coincidental.
Golson Can’t Transfer Anywhere Til After Spring
Next, in order for a 5th year transfer for Golson ala Russell Wilson to be possible, Golson has to first graduate from school – something that he won’t accomplish at Notre Dame until May meaning any potential transfer couldn’t come until spring ball is over across the country. That gives Golson the chance to fight to get his starting job back in the spring against Zaire.
While the second half of Golson’s season was marred by turnovers and Notre Dame’s losing streak, it’s hard to deny the talent that Golson showed during the first half of the year and not think about what he could be capable of with an offensive gameplan similar to what the Irish ran in the Music City Bowl.
Brian Kelly has not made any definitive statements about the quarterback situation for Notre Dame heading into 2015 and its highly unlikely that he would make any until the end of spring practice at the absolute earliest.
If Golson were to transfer, a destination like LSU does seem to make sense. The Tigers have a loaded roster but seem to struggle at the quarterback position more often than they excel at it. In the Music City Bowl for instance LSU got very inconsistent play at the position even against a shaky Notre Dame defense.
Up until last year, a transfer to LSU wouldn’t have even been possible for Golson – or any other 5th year senior quarterback for that matter. The SEC just lifted it’s ban on 5th year transfers last May. Because Golson was academically ineligible for Notre Dame during the 2012 season though, LSU would need to be granted a waiver from the SEC in order to accept such a transfer.
Given Golson needs to graduate in May before a transfer is even a possibility, all of this is still premature, but if today’s report is any indication of what’s in store this off-season, where Everett Golson plays in 2015 is going to be one of the most talked about storylines between now and then.
Given Golson’s track record at Notre Dame and his decision to stay with Notre Dame following his academic problems, it would be a shock to me if Golson did anything but challenge for the starting quarterback position in spring ball and do everything he can to retake the position and redeem himself after his fall from Heisman hopeful to backup within just a couple months.
If that is indeed what Golson does, we could be in store for the best and closest quarterback race of the Kelly Era. The results of past quarterback competitions under Kelly have never been a surprise. Everyone thought Dayne Crist would beat out Tommy Rees in 2011. It was assumed Golson would be the starter in 2012. No one really questioned whether or not Golson would retake the position upon his return this season.
This spring though? After what Malik Zaire just showed against a tough LSU defense? Well, this competition will be anyone’s guess. If nothing else, it’ll be fun to watch. It would just be nice, however, if for once, there would be some stability at the most marquee position in football for Notre Dame from one season to another.