Notre Dame Football: The One Downside to Everett Golson’s Decision to Transfer


One bit of fallout from the transfer that can’t be ignored

Former Notre Dame quarterback

Everett Golson

is now simply Florida State quarterback Everett Golson. I don’t really like how it sounds, but it is what it is. Most Fighting Irish fans have an opinion, and they vary greatly. Some have wished him luck on his future endeavors. Some believe he turned his back on Notre Dame. My personal opinion is that he fulfilled his obligation to the University of Notre Dame and is free to do what he feels is in his best interest.

But whatever your stance is on Golson’s transfer–happy about the start of the Malik Zaire or otherwise–there is a big loss suffered in Golson’s decision. Experience. He had almost all of it on the depth chart, and his decision to transfer to Florida State has left the Irish with a grand total of four games with 20 pass attempts. You didn’t have to be a fan of Golson to realize his talent, and that with his loss there’s a lot of inexperience at QB now.

When the discussion (or argument) of Golson’s achievements take place, the 2012 BCS Championship run always comes up. He led them as a freshman, even though coach Brian Kelly has said he was simply “riding the bus” that season, not driving it. It was a team driven by defense, but for the majority of the season Golson did what he needed to do…until he didn’t. Stick with me, it’ll make sense.

When Golson scuffled that season, Kelly was able to turn to Tommy Rees. You can knock him all you want, but he was a solid college quarterback. When the nerves or the moment got to be too much for the young Golson, Rees was able to fill-in superbly. While Rees didn’t have the success in 2013 as the starter as he would have liked, he graduated from Notre Dame as the all-time completion percentage leader. We’re all aware of some of the company he’s in with that accolade.

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This season, should the talented yet inexperienced Zaire falter, there is no Rees. Now there’s no Golson. There is only DeShone Kizer, a sophomore with zero game experience. So if you were part of the “Let Zaire start” contingent, I hope you’re prepared for it all, for better or worse.

Now that’s not to say that if Golson had stayed and not won the job, that he would have come into games like a knight in shining armor and saved the day. But having a guy with the experience he had to turn to would have been a valuable trait. Which I think is another reason you’re going to the this talented group of Notre Dame backs shoulder the load this season. I expect to see Kelly take some of the pressure off of Zaire and put it on that more than capable group of backs.

I was pulling for Golson from the time he chose to return to Notre Dame after being suspended for a season for his academic violations. I thought he showed great character by returning and not transferring then. He graduated and made a decision that was best for him. But man, the more I think about it the more I realize how much we could have used his experience this season.

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