Golson has inside track as Irish’s starting quarterback

Irish eyes might already be smiling on former Myrtle Beach High star quarterback and Notre Dame redshirt freshman Everett Golson.

The four-way QB battle to see who will be the first one to take a snap when the Fighting Irish travel to Ireland to take on Navy in the Sept. 1 debut was reduced to a three-way competition Wednesday when returning starter Tommy Rees was suspended from the season opener.

The junior Rees received the punishment following an offseason arrest involving a physical encounter with police while fleeing a party. Although his starting job was already in jeopardy, now the only question remaining is which will inherit it as the Irish open fall drills today.

Irish head coach Brian Kelly remains mum on the subject, but Golson appeared to have the inside track coming out of the spring Blue & Gold Game. Golson threw for more yardage and touchdowns than the other four first-string quarterback candidates, completing 11 of 15 passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns, and he was the only Irish QB not to throw an interception.

Junior Andrew Hendrix also makes a strong case since he is the only other candidate with any actual college playing experience. Hendrix and Rees shared the starting role last season but Rees appeared to have the job under raps at the end of last season.

The dark horse is highly touted true freshman Gunner Keil, who saw limited action in the spring game. Kelly has yet to make the call but needs to give one or two QBs the majority of the snaps before the Irish face a tough schedule and try to get past the eight-win mark for the first time in Kelly’s three seasons.

Golson led the Seahawks to two Class AAA state championships and ranks sixth in the nation for touchdown passes for a high school quarterbacking career.

Photo courtesy of ND Athletics

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