Golson a Fit for Irish Offense

Notre Dame will have six players competing for the starting quarterback position when Everett Golson reports to campus in a couple weeks. Golson won't have the experience of working in Brian Kelly's system that the others do, but he just might be a better fit for the Irish offense.

Through the summer and fall it looked like Notre Dame's 2011 recruiting class would be missing a quarterback. The Irish staff didn't want to bring in a quarterback just for the sake of signing a quarterback. Instead, they were looking for the right player for their system.

Everett Golson was a player that was on the Notre Dame radar, but he had been committed to the University of North Carolina since February and was looking forward to playing for Tar Heel head coach Butch Davis. Then the news hit that the NCAA was investigating several Tar Heel players for receiving improper benefits from agents, as well as allegations of academic impropriety.

Knowing that Golson may consider giving the Irish a look, the Notre Dame staff contacted Myrtle Beach head coach Mickey Wilson to see if Golson had interest in opening up his recruitment.

"When it first came out, it was a bit of a surprise to us," Wilson said of the NCAA investigation. "If it doesn't go away it isn't good, and that story didn't seem to be going away. Once we realized that it was something that was going to be there for awhile, we felt it was in his best interest to look around a bit and have a few different options.

"In doing so, the Notre Dame thing came about. Coach Alford was the one who recruited him and they built up a great relationship in a short period of time."

Golson remained committed to North Carolina, but with the concerns of the NCAA investigation looming, Everett decided to take an official visit to Notre Dame in November, when the Irish faced Utah; A turning point for Notre Dame's season and for Golson's recruitment.

"He kind of fell in love with the place," Wilson explained. "He just said that he had a great time. I think the biggest thing I remember him telling me was that he enjoyed being around the players and future teammates. They made him feel like he was at home. It was a great family atmosphere and he felt like it was a great fit.

"Of course the offense part of his decision. Throwing the ball around and being in the shotgun probably intrigued him a little bit as well."

The offense that Golson witnessed at Notre Dame isn't much different than the offense that he played in at Myrtle Beach. Golson led his team to two state titles in three years and coach Wilson feels that the Irish offense is an ideal fit for his quarterback.

"We're very similar and we're both shot gun teams," Wilson said. "We like to throw the ball as much as we can here, and I know coach Kelly has that reputation as well. I think it's a great fit. I think Everett will come in immediately and be comfortable, from the stand point of being in the shotgun and he's used to throwing the ball around."

Golson will get be enrolling at Notre Dame in January so he will have the advantage of working through spring practice in order to get acquainted with the nuances of Brian Kelly's system. Nonetheless, Wilson expects Golson to go through some growing pains as he moves up in competition.

"There's going to be a learning curve," he said. "He'll be learning a new offense as far as terminology, but I do think there will be a certain comfort level in terms of being in the shotgun and throwing the ball around the field.

"Anytime you go into a new offense the terminology is a lot different. That's the toughest thing to handle from a quarterback's standpoint, because you have to learn so much of the new terminology and how to call plays. I think that will be tough.

"The speed of the game will also be much faster," he said. "When you're a quarterback you have to be able to make all those throws, develop timing with your receivers and throw the ball on time. It becomes imperative that you do that even more so in the college game. He'll have to figure that out, but it's something that he'll be able to handle."

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