South Bend, IN– Everett Golson had a rollercoaster career in his four years at Notre Dame. Only playing in two full seasons (2012, 2014), he faced adversity on and off the field that many college athletes rarely go through. It is time to take a look back on the Golson’s career in South Bend and look at the bright spots as well as his downfalls.
Golson arrived at Notre Dame in 2011 as a redshirt. Tommy Rees was the starting quarterback in his sophomore season with the team and led them to an 8-5 record as Golson continued to learn the system.
The 2012 season was where the redshirt freshman Golson really made a name for himself on the national stage. The Irish had a magical season as Golson led the Fighting Irish to an undefeated 12-0 record with close wins against Purdue, Michigan, Stanford and Pittsburgh. They also beat a top 10 ranked Oklahoma handily 30-13. Players like Manti Te’o, Tyler Eifert, and Theo Riddick were important as well, helping the team reach the BCS National Championship Game against powerhouse Alabama.
The Irish were beaten handily in the championship game 42-14, but Golson had a very productive season with 2,405 passing yards, 298 rushing yards, and 18 total touchdowns.
Golson’s career was looking promising at Notre Dame until May 2013 when he was suspended for the season and expelled from the school for an academic violation. It was revealed later on that he had cheated on a test and due to the school’s high academic standards; the game he loved was taken away from him. The Irish finished a disappointing 9-4 that season.
In 2014, Golson returned to Notre Dame, trying to leave where he left off in 2012. The season started off well with Golson leading the team to 6-0 record with impressive wins against Stanford and Michigan despite his untimely turnovers. The Irish had a thrilling game against defending champion Florida State but lost on a controversial pass interference call late in the game.
After the Florida State game, things seemed to fall apart for Golson. He became a turnover machine with four interceptions against Arizona and costly fumbles that drove head coach Brian Kelly to bench him at times. His bright spots came early on in the season where he completed 25 consecutive passes against Syracuse, one shy of the NCAA record.
Despite his 14 interceptions, Golson had impressive passing statistics with 3,345 yards and 29 touchdowns, which were a vast improvement from his numbers even in 2012. His turnovers and inconsistencies turned many fans off however, and it was apparent when the season concluded that his future in South Bend was in doubt. Golson transferred from Notre Dame to Florida State in May, letting Malike Zaire take over at quarterback.
Golson had an impressive career at Notre Dame despite only playing two seasons. He brought the team back to where they had not been in a long time and made them a national title contender again with the help of Coach Kelly. Fans should be thankful for that at least.
Notre Dame is now in a new era with Zaire and a new batch of young talent. Zaire has a running ability similar to Golson’s but passing skills that need improving. In his junior year, it is all on his shoulders to prove to Coach Kelly and fans that he can bring Notre Dame back to their winning ways.