This article was originally published to The Collegian.
“After much thought, prayer and discussion with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to graduate from Notre Dame and transfer to another school effective immediately,” said former Notre Dame quarterback, Everett Golson.
With that statement to Bruce Feldman a reporter for Fox Sports, Golson began his search for a new home with hopes that it will translate to immediate and guaranteed playing time.
Since the announcement, there have been plenty of predictions and analysis about where Golson could or should end up. There are certainly a multitude of teams in need of a quarterback for the 2015 season.
Aside from seeing the field, location was also likely a factor for Golson, who’s a Myrtle Beach native.
If his sights were set on an SEC team, he would have had to first seek a waiver from the conference’s main office in Birmingham, Ala. due to the league’s two year eligibility rule (SEC Bylaw 126.96.36.199 (d)) which states:
“The student-athlete has not been subject to official university or athletics department disciplinary action at any time during enrollment at any previous collegiate institution (excluding limited discipline applied by a sports team).” ESPN reported in May 2013, that Golson had been suspended from Notre Dame for the fall term for “poor academic judgement”.
The university and head football coach, Brian Kelly granted Golson a return to the “Fighting Irish” the following year. After announcing his intentions to transfer, Golson immediately began a tour among the “Power Five” schools such as Florida, Florida State, Georgia and South Carolina. Golson reportedly had interest in other potential schools like of Alabama, LSU and UCLA.
According to Feldman, Golson will set his sights on playing in Tallahassee and will join FSU for the 2015 season.
The first question that came to my mind was what team would actually want him?
Golson had only 7 less turnovers (14 interceptions, 8 fumbles lost) than he had touchdowns the entire 2014 season. This was the result after Golson spent his time off in 2013 working with quarterback guru George Whitfield. In 25 total games, Golson finished 2 seasons with a total of 20 interceptions and 20 fumbles. If Golson wins the starting job for the Noles this fall, he will face the 1st, 4th, 6th, 11th, 13th, and 27th best defenses (statistically) from 2014 during the 2015 season including, what could be a Top 5 defense and the best secondary in the entire country, the Florida Gators. The Florida Gators secondary, which will be even better in 2015, intercepted former ‘Noles QB and number one overall NFL draft pick, Jameis Winston 4 times in a single game.
To make matters worse for Golson, FSU will be absent of a lot of playing experience after losing 11 starters to the NFL draft. Golson will be playing his final year of eligibility with a team in serious transition which may not be the best situation to turn the heads of NFL scouts.
Yes, he led the Irish to an undefeated regular season in 2012. But how did they stack up once he faced the toughest defense against Alabama in the BCS National Title game? Exactly.
Yes, he has gaudy offensive stats – a total of 5,850 total yards to be exact.
But like with everything else in this world… “what has he done lately?”
For Golson, that is executing bad judgement that ended up in a complete suspension from the university, and turnover after turnover accompanied with an 8-5 season. Unfortunately, the only relevant wins were against Stanford and maybe to an underwhelming LSU team in the Music City Bowl.
If you are a Boston College, Clemson, Miami (FL) or Florida Gator fan… you are probably having tailgates now celebrating the news that a one man turnover factory is headed to take over the reins at one of your biggest rivals.
For this reason, Golson is “on the clock” and has one season left to redeem himself in the eyes of the college football world and NFL Scouts and prove to FSU it was worth the risk to take in another quarterback with questionable decision-making skills both on and off the field.
Woody Bass is a Collegian sports writer.