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Golson’s return to Elite 11 takes him full circle

Jul 15, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

Notre Dame Football Spring Practice Notre Dame Football Spring Practice

Everett Golson spent part of last week as a counselor at the Elite 11 quarterback camp, held at Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. And while he earned rave reviews for his work on the playing field as an instructor, he also earned more than his fair share of kudos for his maturity off of it.

After serving as both a producer and host of Elite 11 last week, I caught up with Yogi Roth to get his take on Golson’s performance.

Roth, who served for a time as Pete Carroll’s quarterback coach at USC, worked with Golson when he was a prep quarterback going through the camp process and again with Team Red, White and Blue at camp, where they went through Special Forces Training with the prep quarterbacks.

His take on Golson’s evolution was something that Irish fans should enjoy hearing about.

“To watch him offer advice and share his story about overcoming adversity was something that stood out from the week,” Roth told me. “As the majority of our staff said, to see the personal growth of him from his time as an Elite 11 camper to a counselor has been rewarding because his growth in maturity on the field is now equal to that off it. Irish fans should be amped about Everett this fall.”

In addition to working with prep quarterbacks, Golson also spent some time talking to the media assembled in Oregon for the camp and The Opening. While Golson tried his best to keep a low profile, he had a pretty interesting Q&A with 247Sports.com’s Ryan Bartow.

Golson talked about a lot of different things with Bartow, including his South Carolina roots, how different things would’ve been for him had he ended up at North Carolina, and what it means to him to be back on campus.

Here are a few answers of Golson’s that I really liked:

On what he learned sitting out last season:

“Maturity. Number one. When you’re faced with sudden, harmful circumstances you have to learn how to grow through it. Actually, Trent Dilfer talked about it. He said you don’t grow through it when everything is positive. You have your biggest and most growing periods when everything is going wrong. That shows a sign of greatness. Number one is just maturity. Me having an opportunity to come and work with George (Whitfield) on footwork and mechanics and that type of thing. Also most important how to be a leader. I learned a lot about myself in that time. When you learn and really know yourself it’s hard to shake your confidence. Everything that kind of comes my way it doesn’t really have a big effect on me. I’m grounded now. That’s because of the situation I’ve been through.”

On returning to Notre Dame, not looking to transfer elsewhere:

 “Like I said, from the get-go I knew I was coming back to Notre Dame. And just reunite with my guys. We talk about it all of the time, but we really have a family up there. That Notre Dame community is a family. Me being a part of that, I couldn’t just get up and leave. It wasn’t that for me. It was ‘OK cool, take the hit but come back a better person and be ready to lead this team.’”

The whole interview is worth a read, but it’s another datapoint that likely has Irish fans very excited about their returning quarterback.

  1. indyirish91 - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    I’m proud of this kid. I hope he does great things on the field and off. The way he’s handled his situation is proof that he belongs here at Notre Dame.

  2. ndgoldandblue - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Wow, Keith. I just read a post you made over on another blog, responding to some harsh criticism from posters who thought they could throw out insults on a different board without the fear of retribution. All I have to say is kudos, my friend. I think, if a poster wants to criticize a blogger for his ideas or writing style, he should do it on the actual blog itself. Not some blog where it won’t matter.

    Now, sure. I criticize other blogs, but I don’t criticize individual writers on other blogs. I criticize the blog as a whole (mostly the ideas thrown out by the posters). It’s one thing to take a jab at the people who respond to blog posts, but it’s another to go after the blogger. Take their insults as a compliment, Keith. After all, they’re still reading your blog.

    • sjb198 - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      link please. I’d like to read about Keith kicking a$$.

    • Keith Arnold - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      Skin is pretty thick these days. And I did absolutely mess up the Eilar Hardy column… But I think a lot of people tend to write mean stuff on the internet about people, and then when they actually have someone respond, it’s a different story.

      Have no issues — when someone forwarded it to me it actually made me laugh.

      Can’t please them all, but hope they can realize I’m just a guy trying to plow through an 83-part series in July. Not someone who is smart enough to take it easy during the offseason.

  3. johngaltisspeaking - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Personally I don’t think Golson looked that great in the Blue Gold Game. Zaire looked a hell of alot better and had so much more poise than Golson. Golson’s Numbers were not that great in 2012 and I am concerned we have already seen the best from him. We shall see what this kid is about against Rice and Michigan.

    • notredameirish1980 - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      Your expert opinions certainly out-weigh those of supposed experts like the ND coaching staff, the former USC quarterbacks coach cited above, and George Whitfield.

    • robtrodes - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:05 AM

      Well, he didn’t look spectacular at the Blue Gold game. But based on what people are saying about him he’s a lot better than he was in 2012. As you say, we’ll see, but it seems pretty pessimistic to be concerned that we’ve already seen the best of him after only one year.

      • tedlinko - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:09 PM

        Rob, johngalt is basically a troll masquerading as an ND fan. Like all trolls, he posts that junk to get a reaction. Best to just leave him alone and move on.

  4. oldschoollyons - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    It is good to hear that “the majority” of the Elite 11 staff think Golson has matured on and off the field since his own experience at the Elite 11. It is good to hear that Roth, in particular, sees improved maturity in Golson (I think he was the coach who saidhe has “come a long way”) because a couple of years ago, Roth said that after coaching both players, he judged Zaire as clearly more capable than Golson. Of course, a cynic might say that Roth’s current view of Golson having “come a long way” is largely a comment on how much Golson needed to improve after his mediocre performance at his own Elite 11 — and may indicate more the extent of his improvement than his actual skill level now. After all, Roth did not say he thought Golson is now excellent or even very good — just that he has had “personal growth.”

    But I prefer to interpret Roth’s remarks as not only a positive comment on Golson’s maturation over the past four years but a harbinger of good things to come from him this season.

    • Keith Arnold - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      Being the actually one that talked to Yogi, he thought Golson looked awesome. So reading into these comments for what he did and didn’t say isn’t the smartest thing.

      Ultimately, I decided to get his quote on the off-field growth, because the Elite 11 camp isn’t an evaluation tool for the college counselors. But throw Golson’s name on a Twitter search — or see my article from last week — and you’ll see that he was probably the top college QB there from a performance POV.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        Well from that perspective I cant wait to see him in action…. It really seems that the chips are falling in BK side finally. He really seems to have the offense that he as wanted for so long at ND. This is going to be an exciting year.

  5. fnc111 - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    john,

    You do realize the spring “game” is a glorified practice, right? Take everything you see that day with a grain of salt.

    Zaire would’ve sacked ten times that day if it was a legitimate scrimmage. Settle down and enjoy watching ND beat your mighty Trojans this season.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      The Trojans will be good this year…… I am already counting that as a loss but to see Michigan beat ND at home on the new field will be just disgusting.

      • dbldmr - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        Whew, back to normal.

        I was concerned when you said that you thought this would be an exciting year. When you express optimism I’m afraid that you are creating an unnatural force in the universe and the next thing you know dogs and cats will be living together and the laws of physics will no longer obtain.

      • rossumnminor - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        You’re disgusting john. Go play some more online football

      • irishmob89 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:01 PM

        Okay John, just come clean already. Are you a USC fan or are you one of them guys that root for the entire SEC? It’s one thing to offer constructive criticism, it’s another to be smug and arrogant. You are obviously not a Notre Dame fan so stop trying to fool everyone. For not even being a fan of the Irish, you sure spend a lot of time on this site. Get a job, get a hobby (other than trolling), get a dog, or pay some woman to go on a date with you. Have a nice day.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:56 PM

        irishmob you sound like you figured it all out.

  6. jerseyshorendfan1 - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Keith, I have a criticism (or maybe just a request for a clarification) which I will take up with you here on your home turf. You write, “After serving as both a producer and host of Elite 11 last week, I caught up with Yogi Roth….” Does this mean that you served as a producer and host , or that Mr. Roth did? It may be a small point, but if you hosted the Elite 11, I believe your college recruiting street cred would be at an all time high. Kudos to you if that is the case. Otherwise, great article again, save for that one minor glitch. I remain,
    Your pal,
    Art Vandelay

    • kapnd73 - Jul 19, 2014 at 4:55 AM

      Agree, Art – great article, busy writer, misplaced participle. :-)

  7. irishlad19 - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    John is amusing–let him enjoy his efforts to stir up us Domers.
    But, above all, don’t take him seriously, just smile.

  8. martyhealy - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    “Academic Suspension” The NCAA is busy looking up that violation since there is virtually little precedent. I am rooting for Mount Everett to succeed in the next year or two. If EG makes any positive
    noise, my thoughts are he becomes an ND “All time Great”.

    The suspension had to be done, although I have no idea of the details. The fact that ND stuck with their commitment to values, and the fact that that EG stuck with his commitment to ND makes me root for this kid with a reverence. Go EG!! Give em Hell!!

    • martyhealy - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      My previous post meant to say “One” of the “All Time Greats” not “The”. In other words a fan favorite.

    • robtrodes - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:11 AM

      Go here: http://honorcode.nd.edu/the-honor-code/#procedures , look at section VII.D.3, and form your own conclusions.

  9. zygiwilfsmenorah - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    This story is great to read. I would be happy to read this if Everett was a student and not an athlete- and I really mean that.

    It is so dang rare to see someone “man up”, admit they were wrong, and work to improve. Traditionally, we hear ramblings about being dehydrated, tired, the people around me, etc. etc. etc. This young man said he made a stupid mistake and was taking the hard way out- being accountable for his actions. And lest we forget that he is doing so in one of the highest profile positions in all collegiate sport- the Notre Dame QB.

    Aside from being a big time Gold and Blue zonk, I am cheering for Everett. Both as a QB, and as a man.

    • robtrodes - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:12 AM

      Well said zyg.

  10. liv4nd - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    I hope I am just reading into this but I see some problems with his quote…see in parenthesis.

    “Maturity. Number one. When you’re faced with sudden, harmful circumstances (that I put myself in) you have to learn how to grow through it. Actually, Trent Dilfer talked about it. He said you don’t grow through it when everything is positive. You have your biggest and most growing periods when everything is going wrong. That shows a sign of greatness. (It is a sign of greatness to get yourself kicked out of school for cheating??????) Number one is just maturity. Me having an opportunity to come and work with George (Whitfield) on footwork and mechanics and that type of thing (the opportunity? He should have said….while i was kicked out of school I tried to make the most of my time…you only had the “opportunity” because YOU messed up). Also most important how to be a leader. I learned a lot about myself in that time. When you learn and really know yourself it’s hard to shake your confidence. Everything that kind of comes my way it doesn’t really have a big effect on me. I’m grounded now. That’s because of the situation I’ve been through (again, it was not something that was forced upon you…you did it to yourself).”

    I hope I am being overly sensitive here but the lack of acknowledgement that all of this was his fault is disturbing to me. I like the fact that he came back and I hope he does great…just a bit concerned with the content of this quote.

    • 1historian - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:01 AM

      I think he has owned up to his mistakes many times before.

    • servant119c - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      liv4nd, you are right on. I am all for Golson doing well. There is no need for him to live in shame. He has been suspended, he waited, and now he has another opportunity to lead Notre Dame onto the field if he beats out Zaire. But this narrative of overcoming something that happened to him… if I was Brian Kelly I would correct that whole thing. But I’m not as shrewd as Brian Kelly and I understand it is a more profitable spin and people want to see it in a feel-good light, even if it’s not reality. So it works, even if it’s dishonest. But I think it would in Golson’s best interest and much more motivating to say it how it is and then come back and show people his true character. But acting like something bad happened to him when he did something bad will not help motivate him to beat out a very threatening Zaire. Even if Kelly does go with Golson because it looks better and Zaire is untested, IF Golson faces adversity (that is not from something he brought on himself but rather is being brought against him by opposing forces) and does not look strong, Zaire is going in the game.

      • tedlinko - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        Servant, I have a bit of a different take. I don’t see this as ‘dishonest” or “profitable spin.” Look, the kid made a mistake, he owned up to it (and did acknowledge it was his responsibility) and paid a very public penalty.

        Now he’s done that — it’s time to move forward. No reason to keep focusing on the “fault” part of it. That would be expecting him to continue “living in shame” which you say (rightly) isn’t necessary. I think it is fair to say that most of us have made mistakes in our lives — I know I sure have. Sure glad the whole world doesn’t know about them. But continuing to focus on my bad decisions wouldn’t be constructive. Putting them behind me and “growing through them” to be a better person, is. And that’s what I hear Golson saying in his comments.

        I feel that somehow, in our society, we want public figures to keep paying for their mistakes over and over indefinitely. I don’t think that is what any of us would want for ourselves, and frankly, I don’t think it’s constructive.

  11. servant119c - Jul 17, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    I know my comment is late to the party but I want to point out a couple obvious things that I would think people would be considering. Before I begin, I want to say that I am 100% pro-Everett Golson. I want Notre Dame to win the championship. I am pro-Golson and pro-Zaire and pro-aggressive defense!

    Okay, so why is self-created “adversity” honorable? It would be like if I cut my nose off and then was praised for overcoming the situation with a good attitude. I guess there is SOME honor in reacting with a good attitude, but is it worthy of a news story?

    The goal should be a national championship. We have 2 very good quarterbacks. One of them has not been tested in games but has shown superior enthusiasm, confidence, and passion and did better so far in the competition for the starting job. The other has the best high school highlight film I have ever seen and deserves an equal opportunity to lead this team to the championship after being suspended for cheating on a test.

    Why assume Golson will win out? I really don’t care who wins the starting position, just so long as the goal is to win a national championship. I would love to see Golson step up Notre Dame average 45 points a game and win the national championship with aggressive offense and defense. I don’t think Notre Dame fans should be excited by anything other than the fact that they have 2 strong threats as possible quarterbacks and a potentially exciting defense. No more lethargy in 2014… hopefully. If Golson can making Notre Dames offense into a threat to be respected by Florida State, USC, Stanford, and in the national championship, THEN we have something to be excited about. But first he has to prove better than Zaire, which I’m not convinced he has. Should we feel sad if Zaire wins the job? NO! Golson could have had all of 2013 to secure the position, but he took himself out of the picture while the team suffered in mediocrity. Hopefully he can vindicate himself, unless Zaire is better.

    • liv4nd - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      My sentiments exactly! Go Irish!

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