Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2014

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

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Page 111 of 113

THE FIFTH QUARTER LOU SOMOGYI T his was the year that quarterback drama at Notre Dame would fi‑ nally cease under head coach Brian Kelly. Maybe it still will be that way. From 2010‑13, Tommy Rees was supposed to be only minimum insur‑ ance coverage at quarterback for Notre Dame. Instead, he became a prime long‑ term main policy, salvaging the 4‑5 start to the 2010 season with a 4‑0 finish after starter Dayne Crist was injured, replacing Crist one half into 2011 when no one else emerged, becoming col‑ lege football's fireman of the year in 2012 while helping rescue four victories when more exciting sophomore starter Everett Golson either was injured or ineffective, and taking over for good in 2013 after Golson's academic transgres‑ sions forced him to leave Notre Dame for seven months. Rees was the ideal, temporary re‑ lief man in tight spots, not the fantasy starter. Nevertheless, drama called to him all four years. That was supposed to end this spring with the graduation of Rees and the re‑admittance of Golson, whose comeback was trumpeted as comparable to Julius Caesar 's trium‑ phant return to Rome. Yet throughout the spring, Kelly re‑ fused to anoint Golson as the clear‑cut starter. Was it a motivational ploy? Was the head coach trying to eradicate any sense of entitlement or giving the peo‑ ple and media something to discuss for three months? Definitely not the latter, but the rea‑ sons seem fairly clear. One, Golson had plenty of rust to shake and didn't have a strong enough spring to merit the starter designation for now. Two, soph‑ omore Malik Zaire — who redshirted last year — progressed and impressed enough to demonstrate he's not just as‑ piring to be an adequate backup, much like Golson in 2012. Consequently, it wasn't an easy spring at quarterback for Kelly to make a final decision, so the competition will Quarterback Debate A Typical Rite From Spring Sophomore quarterback Malik Zaire might be an intriguing option in 2014 the way sophomore Everett Golson was in 2012. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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