Apparently, you can go back to 2012 again. At least, in South Bend you can.
In news that should surprise absolutely no one, Brian Kelly pulled the trigger on the expected Wednesday and named Everett Golson as the Irish’s starting quarterback. Golson had been involved in what was technically described as a quarterback competition with redshirt freshman Malik Zaire.
Contrary to speculation, Kelly also confirmed that Golson will be the solo starter, that he and his coaching staff are not looking to run a two-QB system.
“His spring practice and his leadership in the summer and camp here, he’s put himself in a position to get that opportunity,” Kelly said of his decision to tap Golson as the starter.
Golson did not play at all in 2013, and his forced sabbatical was a well-chronicled one.
In late May of last year, Golson was suspended from the university for what was described as an academic violation. Speculation subsequently surfaced that cheating was involved, with Golson confirming the rumors by acknowledging he had cheated on a final exam.
Golson, in his first season as the Irish’s No. 1 quarterback in 2012, started 11 of the 12 games in which he played in leading Notre Dame to its first unbeaten regular season in more than two decades and a spot in the BCS title game. Head coach Brian Kelly said in late February that Golson, reinstated last December, wouldn’t simply be handed the starting job based on that past, although it would’ve certainly qualified as a monumental upset if Zaire were under center for the 2014 opener Aug. 30 against Rice.
As for Zaire’s reaction? Exactly what you’d expect — and want — from a competitor.