The day after Notre Dame’s upset of LSU in the Music City Bowl, Everett Golson boarded a plane for New York. The program’s former starting quarterback wanted to get away before returning to South Bend next week to begin winter workouts.
But according to the Times Picayune in New Orleans, Golson may have played his final game for Notre Dame. The paper, citing sources, reported that Golson has inquired with LSU about the possibility of joining the SEC West program in the summer following his graduation from Notre Dame.
Last week Golson told Irish Illustrated that he is on track to graduate from Notre Dame following the spring semester. With a degree in hand and another year of eligibility on the table, Golson could transfer to another FBS program and play this fall, similar to the paths walked by Dayne Crist (Kansas) and Andrew Hendrix (Miami of Ohio).
Minutes after the report made rounds on social media, Golson tweeted, “Don’t believe everything you read.”
While Golson leaving Notre Dame after the semester wouldn’t be a shock, the senior putting out feelers this early could jeopardize his standing within the program. Essentially declaring his intentions to leave Notre Dame now could prompt Brian Kelly to turn to Malik Zaire at the start of winter conditioning and give Golson’s work to DeShone Kizer.
But based on Kelly’s track record with quarterbacks, he prefers to stockpile as much talent as possible at the position. Even when Hendrix stated his intentions to leave the program last winter, Kelly wanted him to stay in South Bend in a reserve role. He wound up starting all season for Chuck Martin at Miami.
However, the future for Golson in South Bend is more complicated following his benching at USC with the prospect of a two-quarterback system likely should he stay. A quarterback who ranked among Heisman contenders at mid-season ultimately turned the ball over 22 times in the regular season’s final nine games.
Kelly started Zaire against LSU with the sophomore being named Music City Bowl MVP, although the head coach said the position would reopen this winter. Against the Tigers, Zaire completed 12-of-15 passes for 96 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 96 yards and another score. Golson went 6-of-11 for 90 yards. He was a non-threat running the ball with just one carry for six yards.
Neither quarterback committed a turnover or took a sack.
“Well part of playing Malik and starting him was to try and find out how we were going to utilize him in the game and how to construct playing two quarterbacks,” Kelly said after the game. “Part of making the decision to start him was to find out how we were going to move forward and effectively craft and put together a game plan for both of them.
“Today I think we kind of saw a glimpse of what that’s going to look like. I couldn’t have done that without starting him, playing him and getting a feel for the game. I think we can move forward and being looking at that and how we can construct that.”