Blue and Gold Illustrated

April 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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UPON FURTHER REVIEW TODD D. BURLAGE A conspiracy theory exists around the Notre Dame football program suggesting the expulsion last May of starting quarterback Everett Golson actually had nothing to do with univer- sity academics and everything to do with the academics of football. T h e l u d i c ro u s premise suggests that with an ex- perienced backup in Tommy Rees a ro u n d f o r o n e final season, the Irish could survive on the field with a veteran quarter- back while Golson w as allow ed to take the season off to become bigger, smarter and genu- inely better. All of this could be accomplished without Golson los- ing a year of foot- ball eligibility or se- verely derailing his pursuit of a Notre Dame business degree. Basically, take a year off to learn and lift. Unintended or designed, the early returns from Golson's homecoming this spring indicate his time away might turn out to be the best scenario that could have happened for both the player and the Irish. Even Golson's harshest critics took notice when the prodigal son showed up March 3 to begin spring practice packing on 15 extra pounds of muscle from 2012, more confident in his posture off the field, and in total control of the offense and his surroundings on it. "He's way ahead of the group in terms of his physi- c a l n e s s , " I r i s h head coach Brian Kelly said, after his 200-pound quarter- back knocked out 30 reps on the pull- up bar. Kelly's demeanor bordered on giddy when he talked about Golson's re- turn and what in August should be his pupil's first full-go football in 20 months since the national champion- ship game against Alabama. "We're going to heap a lot on this kid's shoulders, and he knows that," Kelly said of accelerating Golson's learning curve. "That's why he came Everett Golson's Dual Threat The Missing Piece Golson's running ability could add an element to the Irish offensive attack that was absent last season. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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