MB’s Golson frontrunner for Fighting Irish’s starting job

Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly hasn’t made it official yet, but all signs seem to be pointing to Everett Golson as the Fighting Irish’s starting quarterback for the season opener.

The former Myrtle Beach High standout has been awarded the majority of snaps with the first team offense during preseason workouts, and now he will get even more as next week’s kickoff against Navy in Dublin, Ireland approaches.

Golson and chief rival for the starting job Andrew Hendricks met with coaches Monday to discuss a redistribution of snaps in favor of the redshirt freshman, although they insisted that the numbers could change based on performance.

Golson was already taking about 60 percent of the plays in practice compared to about 30 for Hendricks, the South Bend Tribune reported. Last year’s starter Tommy Rees, who is suspended for the opener, and true freshman Gunner Keil are sharing the other 10 percent.

The Chicago Tribune ran a Sunday story about Golson’s rapid climb up the depth chart, from the No. 4 option entering last spring to the heir apparent this fall. The Bleacher Report went one step farther, saying “Golson seems to have a firm grasp on the starting quarterback job.”

Of course, only one man’s opinion really matters, and that’s Kelly, who compared watching Golson play to “a heart attack” last spring. In a press conference last week, he softened his stance with a comment that almost sounded like an endorsement for the starting job.

“We’ve had 126 throwing opportunities for Everett; he’s had one interception,” said Kelly, who has otherwise been mum on naming a starter or heaping praise on either candidate. “You build trust. You don’t just give it, you build trust.

“So going from that phrase that I used in the spring to where we are today, I had to be able to move from where I was to where we want to be, and so we had to really load a lot of work on his plate. And he’s exhibited that trust in the way he’s handled himself in camp.”

Ultimately the job will be won or lost on the football field, not the practice field, and Rees return for Game 2 could render the whole argument moot. But for now, it appears Golson will at least get the chance to prove if he is the man for the job.

Photo courtesy of ND Athletics

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