Notre Dame Still Searching for Answers at QB

Notre Dame fans are intrigued with the added dimension Everett Golson can add to the Irish offense in 2012 if he is able to win the starting job. (Photo - Robin Alam/Icon SMI)

The biggest question going into this spring for the Notre Dame football program was who would earn the starting quarterback position going into the 2012 season? If you watched last season you clearly see the difference between Notre Dame being a 11-2 or 12-1 BCS team and instead finishing a disappointing 8-5 again last season were the obvious deficiencies in the quarterback position. Last season Dayne Crist, Tommy Rees, and Andrew Hendrix all did one thing that held Notre Dame’s program from being elite: they turned the ball over.

Crist was suppose to be the next Brady Quinn. He looked the part and had the size, smarts, and charisma to become “the guy.” Unfortunately multiple knee injuries and a “deer in headlights” performance when big situations were needed from Dayne prevented him from reaching his potential. Crist was benched after a horrific first half against South Florida in the first game. Crist has now transferred to Kansas to finish out his career. Sophomore Tommy Rees replaced Crist in South Florida and despite having some good moments (led a spirited 2nd half comeback vs USF) he quickly earned the nickname “Turnover Tommy.” Rees is the least talented of all the returning QBs on the roster but he has the best knowledge of the playbook which in head coach Brian Kelly’s mind gave him the leg up last season. Rees also has the most experience with 16 starts under his belt.

But let me be perfectly clear on one thing: if Rees starts next season the Fighting Irish are in serious trouble. I like Rees but his limitations are obvious: he doesn’t have a strong arm and he folds quicker than origami under pressure because he is extremely slow footed. He also had 14 interceptions, tons of lost fumbles, and got sacked not because the offensive line brokedown but because he has the escapability of a blind snail. So honestly if Rees starts vs Navy in Ireland you should be very afraid if you are a Notre Dame fan because it’s going to be a very long and tedious season.

Which brings us to the other 3 guys vying for the starting position. Let’s start off with Andrew Hendrix. Hendrix will be a junior academically and has a much stronger arm than Rees. He also can tuck the ball and run and in his limited playing time nearly racked up 200 yards on the ground including a 78 yard scamper vs Air Force. Hendrix threw only 37 passes last season but from what I saw he definitely had better zip and threw a much tighter spiral with a quicker release than Rees. The only problem was like Rees he is a turnover machine and it never seemed like he was in control of the offense. If Hendrix is starting in 2012 I would also be very afraid of the consequences.

Which leads us to the two guys who have yet to take a snap for Notre Dame: redshirt freshman Everett Golson and true freshman Gunner Kiel.

First of all let’s talk about Kiel. Kiel is the nephew of Blair Kiel who was a star QB back in the early 80’s at ND. Gunner is also the #1 prep quarterback from last season and the most highly recruited since Jimmy Clausen arrived in a limo 5 years ago. Gunner has great mechanics and has the body to start right away. What he doesn’t have is the experience or the respect from the other players to be given full confidence as a starter from coach Kelly. No true freshman should be expected to start in major collegiate football and the best thing for Kiel and the program is to be on the red hat brigade on the sidelines and learn by watching.

So that leaves us with who I think is the best option: Golson. Golson enrolled early at Notre Dame last season and while he didn’t see any gametime during his freshman season he did earn Scout team MVP. If you have had the chance to watch Golson in high school down in South Carolina the first person I thought of when seeing him make spectacular throws and eluding the defense while playing some really good competition in the Palmetto State was former Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward of FSU. Just like Ward Golson isn’t a big guy (generously listed at 6 foot 185 but more like 5’10 175) but he ran a spread offense in high school that used his natural abilities of quick release, strong arm, accuracy of throws and the ability to tuck and run to the best of his abilities. He won multiple state championships in football and also won them in basketball as the starting point guard. Can you see the similarities with Ward who also won in the NBA? The only thing that separated Golson from being a 5 star can’t miss prospect coming out of high school was a couple of inches in height. In college it won’t matter.

From what I have been hearing from current players on the roster and some who have gone on is that Golson is THE MAN. I’ve also heard that Coach Kelly knows this and the reason why the QB position is still wide open (according to what Kelly gives the media) is because he doesn’t want anybody to transfer going into the fall. This is obviously a smart move since injuries do happen. But make no mistake Golson is the best QB for Notre Dame right now. I’ve heard he is perfectly suited for Kelly’s spread attack offense and despite having some struggles picking it up last season during a difficult transition year being a freshman his knowledge and more importantly his confidence have risen exponentially. Golson keeps his head on a swivel and also downfield at all times even when pressured. You would think with his athletic ability he would be looking to run first when given the chance but Golson keeps his eyes towards his X, Y, and Z targets and delivers a great ball for his receivers to make plays in the open field.

Notre Dame's Josh Adams Running Towards Head of Heisman Pack

2012 will hopefully be the year of the Mt. Everett. In order for Notre Dame to get back to reaching the pinnacle of the college football landscape they are going to need Golson to be the leader and show them the way. And much like Charlie Ward with what he did while at FSU I think Golson will be the guy come game time in Dublin.

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  1. SteelFanRob 6 years ago

    Grantland X,

    I went to your blog. It looks very professionally done. Congrats! I’ll definitely follow it as it comes from the imagination of someone who is clearly a diehard ND fan.

    What you have to understand, Grantland X, is that the old-guard here, including JC, like to bust the chops of the newbies to test their mettle. This is a great site (the best, in my opinion) for debate/discussion about ND football. (People here, minus the occasional troll, are true ND fans; some have been following ND football for many, many decades!) But you’d better be able to stand your ground with the likes of JC. He’s passionate and takes no bull.

    What we strive for after a while, after some of the sound and fury, of our initial exchanges is solid argumentation, Grantland. That doesn’t mean that we always agree, but we ultimately strive to be less disagreeable with time. JC will warm up to you after you prove yourself to us. (Of course, if you don’t like this, then you’re free to drop out and go back to your own blog where you have more control over content and the discussion.)

    I have to humbly disagree with anyone who favors TR in the QB derby. He’s just too limited an athlete to run the type of O BK wants to run. We saw last year how teams stopped ND. Take away MF and drop 8 into coverage. TR would either take the sack, throw the ball into coverage and hope for the best, or throw it away. That’s no way to run an O. I’m hoping that whomever wins the QB competition, he’ll bring some sizzle to the O. with his arm and legs.

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    1. JC 6 years ago

      Amen Rob,

      We are all about dialectic discussion here. Thank you for the kind comments!


      I could have gone on about two wrongs don’t make a right.

      However, I did issue you a break as you requested, so hopefully we welcome you on the next subject if you so desire.

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  2. Shazamrock 6 years ago

    Out of touch old timers?

    It’s years of experience and wisdom.
    (Now if I could just remember it!.)

    What the Hell, who am I kidding, I don’t even buy green banana’s any more!

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  3. Shazamrock 6 years ago

    This isn’t just about the QB.

    Frank just added this years schedule. I suggest everyone take a good long look at this monster.

    To win this season, we will need every advantage.
    We will need to out work, out think, and over-achieve in almost every game.
    We will need to get the very most out of every position. Every player.
    Must have a QB that earns the respect of every defense. That means an accomplished passer, decision maker, runner, scrambler, and leader.

    A dominate offensive line.

    Running backs who cannot only run, but block as well.

    Recievers who aren’t affraid to take a hit in order to gain a first down.

    A wild, vicious, pack of dogs on defense, who puts the pressure on and keeps it there for four quarters.

    A solid punter, and consistant fieldgoal kicker. (Every yard of field position and every possable point will be critical)

    Absolutly can’t just wave the white flag on punt returns. These are wasted plays. And this team is in no way, shape, or form, in any position to waste even a single play.

    Must have good game plans, be well prepared, Stay healthy, and not beat our selves.
    Must be confident, believe in the coaches, each other, and the system.

    Must have the full backing of the students and fans.

    And maybe, just maybe, a little good luck for a change.

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    1. IrishChan 6 years ago

      Add in that we’ll be watching a first time starter (hopefully) at QB leading our offense. I don’t care how talented a QB is when he is a freshman or sophomore. He is still going to make tons of bad reads until the “light turns on”.

      Our defense is talented & has some debth now but they are still young in terms of playing time. Most of our talent on the d-line are sophomores and freshmen. Our secondary is young in terms playing time.

      I don’t know. I believe we can win 8-9 games next year. I’ll be happy if we can stary in the game against USC & Oklahoma. Give me one upset victory against either USC or the Sooners & I’ll be overjoyed.

      Michigan will be a tuff game at home but I think we can winn it.

      I just hope our new O-Cordinator falls into his track record of pounding the football to let our new QB1 get the experience he needs to win and develop for 2013.

      This is a BIG season for Kelly & the IIrish. ND needs to 8-9-10 games this year to show these young recruits that we’re very close to being a dominating football team. These kids are not just playing to win today but need to win get & keep elite recruits in the coming years.

      Loosing much needed talent to Houston simply can’t continue.

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      1. JTRAIN 6 years ago

        Losing greenberry doesn’t bother me at all. At least not after what i saw one of the current players had to say about why he switched..from the sounds of it he saw the depth at wr and got scared.The statement kelly made about not coming here to redshirt…greenberry.

        If thats the case, good luck on thursdays kid. We need kids that want to compete for the job not some kid that thinks he should redshirt so he can get his time in the spotlight.

        Also to all that came down on kelly about tee shepard..he left due to medical reasons. Thats why kelly couldn’t say anything. Shepards dad has publicly confirmed this. There was nothing kelly could do to keep him. Its unfortunate and i wish tee all the best. He seemed like a good kid.

        Oh yea,
        GO IRISH!!!

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    2. Joe 6 years ago

      That’s the recipe for every team in college football. Add that we need to score more points than the other team too.

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    3. JC 6 years ago


      You are scarring me! Are you sure this is the “Next Year” of the next year of the next year we are supposed to be good?? Don’t we have atleast two more next years to go?

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      1. Shazamrock 6 years ago


        You??? … Scarred???

        No need for worry. This could be nothing more than any one of a number of simple, common, ND Football related Phobia’s.

        For example. When Coach Kelly gets mad, yells, screams, and turns purple.
        I myself suffer from this one.
        It’s called “Coulrophobia”
        The fear of evil, brightly colored clowns!
        Yes, it’s true!

        Or perhaps Mythophobia, The fear of Myths, stories and false staements.

        Or perhaps it’s chicagocubbaphobia. The fear of present day success.

        or Kakorrhaphiophobia. this is a biggei around here, the fear of defeat.

        Oneirophobia? Fear of wet dreams. (Better not have one of those around here!))

        But basicly, when it comes to college football. I’ll give a coach 2 years to recruite his guys, install his system, and implement his plan.
        Any more than that, with no visiable signs of improvement, and it’s a waste of time and money.
        Not saying we have to win a national Championship this year, but I do exspect us to beat some good teams.

        Is that asking for too much?

        Prosprophobia??? Fear of Greed, prosperity, and accomplishment.

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      2. JC 6 years ago


        Well, I’m not sure because I have a bad case of neophobia concerning Kelly. (Dread of the unknown!)

        Besides, as you well know the “Next Year” folks here don’t allow for such high expectations as yours.

        So yes, your scarring me with high expections for this year!

        You don’t want to get repudiated preseason now would you?

        Better settled down or they might start calling you an out of touch “old-timer like me!”


        Go Irish!…Just a little bit!

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  4. DeltaIrish 6 years ago

    Rees simply can’t be the answer. He was, hopefully, a space filler until Hendrix or Golson got the necessary grasp. Regardless of turnovers, Rees is a square peg trying to fill a round hole. Name one other spread offense run by a quarterback that can’t run.

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    1. JC 6 years ago


      I like your term “space filler” Hahahahaha!

      I hope everyone has had the opportunity to see the practice video where the Rees’ version of a deep pass was on display.

      The perfect rainbow! A D-back delight!

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      1. Shazamrock 6 years ago

        This is a classic “Ohnoareesopbobia”

        The fear of being in third and goal, the opposing defense rushes only two, and our QB forces a throw into quadruple coverage for a pick six the other way!

        Oh No!

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  5. ER Jedi 6 years ago

    Love how everyone throws TR and Hendrix under the bus as turnover machines. Just about every sophomore or freshman quarterback out there is prove to turnovers. If not, there would be a lot more freshman with “raw talent” starting over their senior counterparts.

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    1. Bill Meehan 6 years ago

      I see your point, and frankly I think Hendrix falls into that category. I don’t think he has enough experience for you to say that about him.

      However, TR gets the criticism he does not because of the #’s but because of the play. Look at the film, he absolutely does lock onto receivers. He isn’t very mobile. He doesn’t throw a deep ball. That’s what I look at when I look towards development. And frankly, 2/3 aren’t things I think he can improve on, and the third I haven’t seen improvement. Throw in the fact that he isn’t a natural spread QB, and BK runs a spread system, and I just don’t see him being it this year.

      Still absolutely love what he’s given to the University and the team. I just don’t think he’s the best option at QB.

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  6. Todd Swisher 6 years ago

    Quick take on the QB position. No question Gunner Kiel is an excellent talent but he needs to redshirt (best for his development). Hendrix and Golson’s skill set, from everything I have heard and seen, make them far better suited to run Brian Kelly’s offense. Get them a lot of reps this spring and turn them loose this season. The offense will be far more dynamic with either of them running the offense and gaining some experience. Yes, there will be some growing pains but that is part of it. They will only get better by playing. The future does indeed look bright! ND is getting some great talent once again!

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  7. Rocky 6 years ago

    Luke Massa is a winner any way you look a it. He is a tremendous athlete

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  8. Rocky 6 years ago

    I think the best quarterbACK IS NOT EVEN A RATED QUARTERBACK IS LUKE MASSA. I would be awesome if the coach tested his arm and ability.

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  9. Geoff G 6 years ago

    It has to be Golsen. And frankly, if Rees wanted to transfer because of being benched, I would be glad to help him pack his bags. Someone said it earlier…. “There is nothing horrible about Rees, but there is nothing great about him either.”

    Rees would be a fine starter at the D1 level with a mediocre team…. which is all we have been with him as a starter. Notre Dame needs to start Golsen and see how it plays out. We should have enough talent on the field in the home opener where we don’t have to worry about him having a perfect game to beat Navy. We just can’t lose the penalty and turnover battle. It should be a great game for Golsen to get his reps and get comfortable running the offense.

    I’d like it if Hendrix stuck around for depth in case Golsen isn’t everything we are expecting him to be…. and it probably isn’t fair to bash Hendrix because we haven’t seen a ton of him, but I don’t know that he is the answer to get us back into the BCS hunt. Then again, what do I know!

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    1. scav 6 years ago

      I really don’t think Hendrix is going anywhere regardless because he is Pre-Med. The kid came to ND to be a doctor.

      Rees might transfer as well, but is he really going to be a pro QB? He will stick around for the ND Degree as well.

      I think Golson will get a shot this year and he would be the one to go if Keil passed him up next year.

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  10. jack 6 years ago

    Let me give you my breakdown of the QB’s and how I would handle it. First, the competition for 1&2 would be completed this spring. I would tell the 3&4 that they would be via for that position on the depth chart. I would tell 1&2 that they would be splitting the reps with the first team, 3&4 would be spliiting repts with the second team the first week of practice after summer camp. I would then pick a started a week and a half into summer camp and he would be my starter. This needs to be done to give confidence to the starting QB they will be the starting QB all year long barring injury.

    Now, here is how I would make the decisions I referred to above. My 1&2 would be Golson and Hendrix. I would explain to Gunner that right now I don’t think he has the grasp of the offense to start. I would thank Tommy for his service to the team and explain that he can fight Gunner for the third spot but my two QB’s are Hendrix and Golson until the final decision is made between the two of them. I would tell him if he wanted his transfer papers that would be fine and he could go to any school of his choice. I would make the final decision on the number one QB based on grasp of the offense, accuracy and leadership. I think right now that Golson has two of the three qualities. I don’t think he has the grasp of the offense that Hendrix does, but I could be wrong. After my decision is made if a QB came to me and wanted to transfer I would give him his release because I don’t want a kid at my school that doesn’t want to be there.

    The thing that I hate about BK and how he handled this situation last year is if he had any doubts he should have allowed Dayne to transfer last year and give him two years to practice in a system and a year to start. I think the way CW handled this situation in the Spring of 07 was correct. The only problem I had with CW was naming Jones as the starter when you wanted Clausen all along.

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    1. JC 6 years ago

      Amen Jack,

      Excellent 5-Star plan and execution. Definately puts a kibosh to last year’s chaotic ring around the derby. I Hope BK’s plan is indeed simular to yours.

      I too had a problem with BK naming Crist when BK wanted Rees all along last year. Because of that, we really only have one real experienced QB that now we don’t want due to excessive turnovers! Couple that with remarkable dum management of the back-up QB’s last year is certainly why BK’s back is against the wall today. But deservingly so!

      The wheels will fall off the cart if we don’t get it headed in the right direction this year. So again, Excellent approach!!

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    2. Bill Meehan 6 years ago

      One minor critique on your methodology:

      I’d have 1&2 split reps between the first & second team. I’d let 3&4 know they’re most likely looking at scout team time. I say this because I’d want my 1&2 to have the maximum # of reps with the players they’d most likely be playing with.

      Also, I personally would never worry about transfers. I mean, yes, it could get catastrophic in a hurry if 2/4 transfer. But most likely that would be Rees & Hendrix leaving you with 2 quarterbacks w/ 4 years of eligibility. Throw in the fact that you can and will continue to recruit QB’s, all that’s happening is you’re clearing up the depth chart for the future.

      I think the most likely outcome is that Kiel Red-shirts, Hendrix/Golston duke it out and Rees transfers, but that’s just my opinion. If that’s the case, sending Kiel work with 3/4’s or scout team is a very appealing option.

      Please don’t take this as an indictment on Rees, or his character. I just think he’s going to get passed by more talented players.

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      1. jack 6 years ago


        I agree with your critique. The 1&2 QB should split reps with the first offense in order to have two QB’s ready to play. I do think that number 1 should get about 60% of the repts.

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  11. TRirish55 6 years ago

    Tommy Rees did the best he could minus the turnovers. I think its Golson time in south bend with Hendrix in the mix as well gonna be interesting to watch leading up to the start of the season.

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  12. GrantlandX 6 years ago

    Actually, couldn’t disagree more. I’ve heard from players on the team that Golson has all kinds of abilities, but is a fumble machine. Not just mishandling snaps, but if he gets hit at all, he loses it. And that’s coming from guys who like Everett’s potential. Also, you have a ridiculously one-sided view of Rees. I certainly value reading your article, but disagree heavily on you casting off Rees.

    Give this one a read, I wrote it about why Rees should be the starting QB. Feel free to voice your opinion on that article in my comment section.

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    1. JC 6 years ago


      Listen, If your going to post on our turf we’ll comment on our turf. You don’t dictate the rules here.

      So tell us, which players specifically claim Golson is a fumble machine? We would definately like to know.

      Frankly, I read your scribble and find what little reason you have for Rees starting is pure wishful thinking. We don’t need another “PROVEN” DISMAL TURNOVER SEASON from Rees.

      It’s time to let some else turn the ball over two times a game!

      I’m sure Golson is a proven turnover machine winning high school championships. That’s why we recruited him to turn the ball over more than Rees.

      Furthermore, there is no so called one-sided view of Rees. We all have witnessed and suffered thru his artistic perfection of turning the ball over! This is NOT the blind fan section here!

      How many do you see here in favor of Rees? Do yourself a favor save your Rees Presentation for you site; Thank you!

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      1. GrantlandX 6 years ago

        Great display of maturity. Because I disagree with your views, my post is “scribble”. And forget that Rees, and EVERY SINGLE D1 quarterback had ridiculous high school careers, just keep touting it for Golson. Look, I’m not against any of the other guys at all. I think Golson and Kiel just aren’t ready at all yet, and to force them in for the sake of change just isn’t the best idea. Hendrix certainly is an option that is viable instead of Rees — I do disagree with you labeling him a “turnover machine” already. He definitely made mistakes, but that is to be expected in your first college experience, especially when it comes in such a limited fashion.

        All that said, I still think Rees should be the guy, for reasons stated in my article. But hey, we can agree to disagree and I’m okay with that, it’s a debate for a reason.

        Let’s all root for the same team.


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      2. JC 6 years ago


        Really!! Don’t like me labling Rees a turnover machine? Don’t like facts I take it?

        Not to mention, who drew first blood? “Golson has all kinds of abilities, but is a fumble machine.”

        Double standard here?

        Further, you never answered my question which players claim Golson is a fumble machine? Well, somehow I knew you would not have a valid answer for that!

        Oh yeah, must be invalidated second hand information? Hahahahaha! Next time use a foot note please.

        Obviously, your one of those guys looking for immediate affirmation of your contrived view and expect everyone to acquiesce? Hahahahahaha!

        Go back and read your own posts, you seem to enjoy them more than we do.

        And by the way, I don’t need your input to root for my team.

        Go Irish!

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      3. BruceB 6 years ago

        Great idea – let’s just start a rumor that player x and player y are badmouthing Golson to outsiders and see how that affects team morale. Kelly will put the whole team in lockdown. And definitely doesn’t have an “a” in it.

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      4. GrantlandX 6 years ago

        I actually disagreed with your assessment that Hendrix was a turnover machine, not Rees…but clearly you can read.

        Keep up the good work.

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      5. JC 6 years ago


        Yeah, you're definately a prince promoting your personal scribble no one would argue that:

        "Players Say" "People Say" "Rumor has it" your without question a legendary writer for Inside Hollywood.

        Yeah, someone else wrote your Golson comments for you also. Suuuuuure!

        Keep up the good work in prefered reading 101!

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      6. GrantlandX 6 years ago

        You’re right, you didn’t state that “I am hearing from current players on the roster that Golson is ‘THE MAN'”. You cited that as well, right?

        And clearly a claim such as Golson was a few inches away from being a 5 star in highschool is purely based in fact, right?

        Give me a break man. We both wrote articles, just differed in opinion, and that’s fine. To attack credibility and such, when we both made similar claims, is petty and unnecessary.

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      7. JC 6 years ago

        OK GrantlandX,

        Here’s your break: Good bye and have a nice life! Spare us any further comment. Thank you!

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    2. JTRAIN 6 years ago

      Read your blog grantland..and all i have to say is…

      You are reading way too much or too little into the record. Most of the teams were teams nd should beat regardless of qb. Bc and pitt were far from great teams and nd squeaked by…why? Because the blueprint for beating rees is out there…contain the running game drop 7-8 into coverage. When rees goes through his progressions, option 1 is covered option 2 is an int..we have seen that movie a thousand times and it isn’t getting any funnier

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      1. JC 6 years ago

        Amen JTRAIN!

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  13. joeyknucklehead 6 years ago

    The fanbase’s most popular QB is the backup QB. Maybe that can keep Hendrix from transferring out.

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  14. BruceB 6 years ago

    Wow! You’re pretty hard on Tommy. Most college teams would be pretty excited about returning a QB who’s stared 16 games (and won 12 of them). After another off-season in the weight room and another spring practice, they would reasonably expect a QB who has thrown for 2800 yards, 65% completion rate and 20 touchdowns to be even better. Had it not been for all those TOs, he would probably be getting Heisman votes this year.
    But………those TOs did result in at least two losses and probably three in 2011, costing Tommy some votes. I would expect a lot of emphasis is being placed on eliminating TOs this spring and, if Tommy does start against Navy, it will be because the staff believes he’s the right guy.
    That said, the little bit of Golson I’ve seen this spring is pretty impressive. The ball comes out of his hand really quick and every ball seems to hit the receiver in the hands. And he looks like he’s bulked up a bit, too. The B/G games should be pretty exciting and I’d love to see Golson running the show in September.

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    1. JMD 6 years ago

      He wasn’t hard at all on Rees. The facts are he turned the ball over, often at critical times and particularly in the red zone, and he’s the most immobile quarterback ND has had since maybe Ron Powlus – and I think Powlus could beat him in a 40 yard dash today.

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    2. Chris 6 years ago

      We do not have the receiving corp this year for Rees to start. If we had another Floyd and someone else on the outside that was a threat to go along with Eifert, then Rees might be alright. We have nothing at wide receiver this year. We have to have that dimension of a running quarterback this year, period…because of the lack of receivers. I hate to say it but if John Goodman is starting, this could be a scary season.

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      1. JTRAIN 6 years ago

        Good point with rees and floyd. Pretty much the only time rees looked decent was when he could go to floyd to bail him out. That said, yes, we do not have a floyd on the team now but michael floyd doesn’t come around every year. But to say we have NOTHING at reciever this year? well i will have to respectfully disagree with you on that point. Once brown, neal, and ferguson get here we will the deepest recieving corp that we have had in a long time. Been hearing some really good things about daniels this year. I have a feeling that kid is gonna be really good. Maybe not michael floyd, but still pretty good.

        Also have to agree with you that we will need a more mobile qb. But more as a compliment to the playmakers we are going to have on the field. This is riddick’s year. He is going to finally go off like we’ve been hoping he would. Neal looks absolutely explosive. Atkinson 3.0 will see the ball more and we all know what he can do. I think we will see a much better offense this year…well as long as a certain competition goes the way we hope it does

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  15. JC 6 years ago


    Good point on Golson, size does matter. The green light to run should be used only to keep the defense honest not for a track meet.

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  16. Shazamrock 6 years ago

    Barring injuries, Kiel would benefit red shirting.

    To me, that leaves Hendrix and Golson.

    We all know Kelly wants to run a spread offense and is adjusting his offense to do so.

    From what I have heard, Golson is the best running QB that ND has had since Tony Rice.
    That would make Golson the obvious choice for the spread.

    The only concern I have with Golson is his size. Rice played at 6’1″ 200lbs and was very strong.
    Golson is listed at 6’0″ 185lbs. Not sure he can take the pounding a running QB of his size will face for a full 12 game schedule.
    With that in mind, I would exspect both QB’s to play early and offten.
    After the first four games are completed, one of them will emerge as the full time starter.

    The other option may be to name Golson the starter, but use him like Michigan utilized Denard Robinson(QB of similar size and running talent) did last year.
    They didn’t have him run too much in the first half of games, and spelled him for short periods with their back-up QB.
    In this way he was able to play the full schedule and still have something in the tank at the end of the season.

    If we can get the running game in high gear off the spread (Troy Niklas will make a huge difference at TE here)it should make the passing game much easier for ether Hendrix or Golson.

    Can’t wait to see it in action!

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  17. Ping7Fe 6 years ago

    Kelly HAS to go with Hendrix or Golson. I know they are concerned with how turnovers coincide with inexperience, but we all know that Tommy is prone to turnovers anyway. So if you have a quarterback that turns the ball over a lot, why not put in someone else that adds another dimension to your team. I can’t see Hendrix or Golson turning the ball over anymore than what Tommy did. I’m not going to knock Tommy’s personality, or make fun of the kid, because I love how he stepped up (as a sophomore) and did the best he could….and he is still apart of Notre Dame. However, he’s not the best option at quarterback.

    I even think that whoever doesn’t win the starting job (b/w Hendrix or Golson) that person should be the back up. We need consistency if our starter goes down with an injury. If Golson starts, and gets banged up, we can’t afford to put Tommy in and run an entirely different offense. Hendrix and Golson can run the same plays; Tommy can’t.

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  18. chi-town copper 6 years ago

    I dont think Andrew Hendrix was all that bad. He wasnt exactly put into the best situations in games and i think at times he provided a spark. I dont think he was the turnover machine that Tommy Reese was but in limited action i really dont think he was a horrible qb in his first season of real action

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  19. Chris 6 years ago

    Build around Golson – find a frappin offensive identity for crying out loud and build around it!

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    1. simscj2001 6 years ago

      You hit the nail dead center. Must find an identity and build.

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  20. Tom 6 years ago


    Deep in the archives there must be a better picture of Golson…no?

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  21. Rocky 6 years ago

    BC should try Massa at quarterback, he is really good at the position

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  22. JC 6 years ago

    Perfect assessment Matt,

    I would name Golson the starter by Blue & Gold game at the latest. All in favor of Kiel redshirting without question. With the tenacious schedule we have this year we definately need Golson’s talent at QB. Transfers always possible but unlikely this year. Yet, as always I could be wrong!

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    1. Mactavich55 6 years ago

      Interesting article, I would love to hear where your inside sources came from. Let’s all remember Kelly started Crist last year and then pulled him. I would anticipate that happening this year with Reese, but instead of the first game of the year it will happen during the Michigan game. Lets just hope the damage wont be to great to overcome like last year.

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      1. JC 6 years ago

        The last thing we need is another Crist dog and pony show with Rees. Kelly’s future at ND is on the line here with this QB derby. So he better choose wisely. And I think he will, for it should be an immediate grasp of the obvious what Kelly’s favorite QB profile is.

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