Golson is a Champion

The Notre Dame coaching staff wanted to sign a quarterback in the 2011 recruiting class, but they didn't just want a body to take up a scholarship. They wanted a quarterback to fit Brian Kelly's offense and they wanted a winner.

The Irish got that and more when Everett Golson from Myrtle Beach High School (S.C.) committed to Notre Dame earlier this month. Myrtle Beach head coach Mickey Wilson has had a front row seat throughout Everett Golson's high school career and he's enjoyed the show. That very successful show that ended just over a week ago with Golson leading Myrtle Beach to 27-23 win in the South Carolina 3A state title game.

Golson grew up in Wilson's system and as an eighth grader he landed the starting quarterback job on the JV team. A year later, Golson took over the reins of the high school team and never looked back.

"I actually was the offensive coordinator back then and I got him ready to move up and to compete for the starting job as a freshman. Wilson recalled. "At a young age he could throw the ball really well. He had a big-time arm and he could make all the throws as a freshman. He was extremely accurate and he had really good velocity on the ball.

"His freshman year, we had a kid that was a two-year starter for us as a sophomore and junior, he's actually playing at Princeton now, and Everett beat him out."

Wilson's decision to turn over the team to Golson would lead Myrtle Beach on a path of success. In Golson's second year as a starter he led his team to a state championship, and then a state runner-up spot as a junior.

The expectations would grow for Golson, as he was tabbed as one of the top quarterback's in the country heading into his senior season. Unfortunately, Golson suffered a strained foot in the second game of the season and would remain sidelined the remainder of the regular season.

Senior backup quarterback Mitch Campbell would take over for Golson the next eight games, and lead the Seahawks to eight impressive wins to close out the regular season and a berth in the state playoffs.

Golson had been healing and practicing as the first-round of the playoffs drew near. Once Golson was cleared to get back on the field, Wilson didn't hesitate to insert him as the starter once again.

"When Everett came back, Mitch went back to being the backup," Wilson said. "Mitch and Everett are friends. It was neat situation to see transpire and take place, because they both handled it extremely well.

"Everett's a kid that started forty-plus games for us, so we weren't really worried about him. Once we got him out there, we turned him loose and he did a great job."

Great job, as in averaging over 50 points in the four playoff wins and a shot at a second state championship in three seasons.

"Going into the playoffs, everyone kind of predicted that we would meet South Pointe in the championship game," Wilson explained. "It was nice to get to that point and get to see what everyone thought were the best two teams in Class 3A getting an opportunity to play each other.

"The biggest thing is that they were extremely fast up front with their defensive line. Jadeveon Clowney is the No. 1 player in the country by most people and they also have another defensive end that has a lot of Division I offers, that played on the other side.

"They got to us a little bit with their pass rush," he said. "They were in the backfield a good bit. We also had bad field position in the first half. Being a throwing team, it makes it hard to throw out of your own end zone. We just couldn't get into the flow and we couldn't get our rhythm down… of course Clowney had a lot to do with that."

Down 16-7 at halftime, Golson needed to gather himself and ignore the hard-charging defensive end duo for South Pointe.

"The pressure kind of threw us off a little bit, but we settled down after halftime," Wilson said. ""Once we settled down, I think (Clowney) got tired of chasing Everett around. He kind of wore him down a little bit and we were able to get something going."

Down two scores heading into the fourth quarter, Golson pulled Myrtle Beach to within a score of 23-21. On the ensuing drive, the Seahawk defense jarred the ball loose from the South Pointe quarterback. The defense recovered the fumble, setting up Golson within striking distance.

"We threw a wheel-route into the corner of the end zone," Wilson said. "Everett stuck it in there in between the corner and the safety. He had a small window to get it in there, but he did it and that ended up being the final touchdown and ended up winning it for us.

"Everett played great. He led us to two fourth quarter scores to get us over the top and get us the state championship."

After the game, Wilson took time to reflect on the time he's spent with Golson and the future that awaits Everett at Notre Dame.

"We've been together for five years," he said." After the game, I just thanked him for all these years. I told him that I was going to miss him. And that I'm excited for his future.

"I think he'll be able to go to Notre Dame and not only play, but to play early. I think he'll have a national stage and that he might have a chance to win a Heisman Trophy."

Golson finished his career at Myrtle Beach with 11,634 passing yards, 151 touchdowns and 26 interceptions.

In only six games as a senior Golson completed 111 passes on 171 attempts for 1,770 yards. He threw for 25 touchdowns against two interceptions.

Everett will be playing in the Carolina Shrine Bowl on December the 18.

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