Brian Kelly addresses QB Everett Golson's future at Notre Dame

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

Even without an unsourced story on Monday that never gained corroboration and picked up plenty of denials, Everett Golson’s spring semester at Notre Dame was destined to be chock full of speculation and rumor, much of it baseless.

Those close to Golson, multiple sources, say the ND quarterback never reached out to LSU to explore a transfer, as was reported Monday by multiple media outlets.

That’s not to say he won’t eventually explore other options for his fifth season of eligibility after spring practice concludes, in light of falling into a QB time share with sophomore Malik Zaire late this past season.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly addressed the situation and speculation on ESPN’s SportsCenter on Thursday during his multiple appearances on the network. Here’s how he is framing Golson’s future at ND.

“I’ve talked to Everett. Everett needs to come back and go through spring ball,” Kelly said. “He’s ready to compete, and he will compete in the spring.

“He’s going to graduate in the spring, and that’s going to allow him to leave his options open. But I expect him to be back (for the fall of 2015) and competing for the starting position.

“Both of them (Zaire and Golson) will have an opportunity. I’d love to see both of them on the field for us. I think we can play them both.

“Everett’s got a chance to win the starting position. I know he expects to be the starter in the fall, and he’ll have the opportunity to do that.”

Golson threw for 3,445 yards this past season, completing 60 percent of his passes (256 of 427) with 29 TDs and 14 interceptions. Golson stands 30th nationally in passing efficiency with a 143.6 rating, the highest of the Kelly Era.

He is 11th nationally in points responsible for per game (17.4) and 22nd in total offense (286.6). Golson’s was ND’s third-leading rusher in 2014, with 283 yards on 14 carries and eight rushing TDs, one off the school single-season record. He lost eight fumbles in 2014.

Zaire went into Thanksgiving weekend with zero career passing attempts. He finished 21-of-35 (60 percent) for 266 yards and 1 TD. He had no turnovers. His pass-efficiency rating for 2014 was 133.3.

On the ground, the Music City Bowl MVP rushed for 187 yards on 33 carries with 2 TDs in 2014. Zaire redshirted as a freshman in 2013.

Notre Dame Head coach Brian Kelly and quarterback Everett Golson (5) look on as quarterback Malik Zaire (8) goes through drills last spring. Kelly said Thursday that he expects both QBs to compete for the starting job in the spring and that a platoon is possible. (SBT Photo/GREG SWIERCZ)