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Kelly names Golson starting quarterback

Aug 13, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT

Brian Kelly Brian Kelly

While it may have taken longer than many expected, Brian Kelly named Everett Golson his starting quarterback after practice on Wednesday. The senior beat out sophomore Malik Zaire, who put up a valiant effort.

“Everett is the starter for Rice, and we hope he’s the starter for the entire year,“ Kelly said.

With offensive installation complete, Kelly expected to see a separation by the end of the week. And after taking candidly about wanting to let the competition play out until there was a distinction between the two signal callers. That apparently happened, with Kelly telling both quarterbacks of his decision, with Golson winning the job after doing all that was expected from the senior quarterback.

“His spring practice and his leadership in the summer and camp here, he’s put himself in a position to get that opportunity,” Kelly said of Golson’s work in winning the job.

With under three weeks to go before Notre Dame takes on Rice, getting this decision out of the way before it became a distraction made sense. And after hearing Kelly talk about Golson with ESPN and former Texas coach Mack Brown earlier this week, it’s not exactly a surprise.

Nor is Zaire’s disappointment. After earning a few raised eyebrows when Zaire said that he expected to be behind center against Rice as the Irish’s starting quarterback, the youngster did everything asked of him, including out-performing Golson in the Blue-Gold game.

“I let Malik know first and let him know his situation. I got the right answer from Malik, he wasn’t happy,” Kelly said.

The offense will move forward with Golson the clear No. 1. There is no plan for a wildcat package for Zaire, as the Irish ran with Andrew Hendrix at times. But Zaire will have every opportunity to push Golson, with the sophomore quarterback competing well even after hearing the news.

Golson missed the entire 2013 season after an academic violation earned him a suspension from the university for the fall semester. He led the Irish to the BCS title game in 2012, going 10-1 as a starter.

Notre Dame kicks off the 2014 season against Rice on August 30.

  1. oldestguard - Aug 13, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Hope it was a tough decision and that Golson feels Zaire breathing down his back.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:29 PM

      Who knows what goes on in those pile ups especially at a catholic University.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:29 PM

      Who knows what goes on in those pile ups especially at a catholic University.

  2. jerseyshorendfan1 - Aug 13, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    In other news, dog bites man.

    • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      Keith, like I said, is Obama not Jewish?

      • danirish - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        STFU, really, STFU

    • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      Dan, what new university is that? South Texas Florida?

      • danirish - Aug 13, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        No dingleberry, STFU means your shtick is getting old. Tolerable when it was one or two posts but look at the board! You have redefined pathetic and trolling. Not to mention the inappropriate comments that are not really football related.

        STFU means you need to go get your kicks someplace else. At least the usual trolls (which I can safely feel are probably you) talk about football!

        Your “Colbert” like attempt at politics is misplaced and once again, pathetic.

        I could just ignore you but I don’t think I would be doing the right thing by ignoring the fact you have a serious problem.

        GO IRISH!

      • 1notredamefan - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        Dan, I can’t speak for anyone but I myself have been here for years, can’t get discouraged too much because It’s actually been more encouraging than the other.. Most of us know and post less because of the fact but for entertainment purposes we read and throw up.. twice a week. We can shut him off in a few weeks! Go Irish!!!

  3. johngaltisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    WOOW that is a surprize ! Brian K thinks he is fooling someone, Who I have no idea !

    • johngaltisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      Putin sad GTFO N&^RO

    • johngaltisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      Putin sad GTFO N&^RO

    • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      Hahaha. Funniest post I’ve seen. I didn’t know u spoke ampersand.

  4. irishmob89 - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Kelly has known for months that Golson would start. He just said there would be a competition to appease Zaire and keep a fire lit under Golson. Plus, Everett knows the entire playbook. For the first time in his tenure at Notre Dame, Kelly has his type of quarterback that can run the entire playbook and he isn’t limited physically like Tommy Rees was when it came to certain packages. It should be exciting to watch this season.

    • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      Thank god you can cheat w playbooks on wrist bands.

    • liv4nd - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      I am relieved to see this. If it went on much longer that would mean EG still did not “get it” even with a year off to study. MZ must be pissed but he had to know this would happen eventually. There is not doubt in either of them as far as physical ability goes. Lets all hope that EG has command of check downs, reading defenses, clock management…all the upstairs stuff. Thats why TR had to come in so many times in 2012. He got flustered by high pressure situations and folded. I hope we ONLY see Zaire late in the 4th with a 21 point lead!

  5. domerboyirish - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    It seems like the only one that didn’t know that Golson with the starter was Zaire. We all knew that he was the logical choice. Kelly kept Zaire from transferring and kept him motivated so that he would be ready to go at Golson’s first injury. It’s a standard smart coaching move.

    Now, will Kelly continue to do the smart thing? Zaire needs to get playing time and plenty of it. Keep him happy and motivated and get him much needed game experience. If this guy isn’t playing the entire fourth quarter against Rice then Kelly is making a huge mistake and or we are in for a long season of disappointment.

    • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Transfer to where? University of sh!tty fake Miami? Marshall? Oh u dat good? Good luck buddy. Kid hasn’t proven sht. Sit ur as down n wait for your turn.

      It’s like he’s trying to skip the line at the welfare. U know Obama? Well then get back in line.

  6. deadman3020 - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    I MISS TOMMY!!!!!

    • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      I’m sure he’s under throwing to someone somewhere.

      • domerboyirish - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        I hear that he threw out the first pitch at Wrigley and hit the first basemen in the foot.

      • domerboyirish - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM

        Oh come on! Why the thumbs down?! That was damn funny!

    • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      Don’t be so sensitive domer. For every thumbs down there are 3 middle fingers up like at Tiesto concert. Sit back, relax n enjoy the ride. Well unless u got some bunk sht.

    • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      Look at all the funny stuff I say n how many TD’s I get. Hurts my feelings quite frankly, I have feelings too. But FU too.

      • johngaltsassisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 6:42 PM

        yeah, the funny stuff is why we post TD’s…. classic.

    • 1notredamefan - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:51 PM

      yes sir! but it sure Is great to see Golson back!

  7. irishwilliamsport - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    This is exactly what I was afraid of and I hope Zaire stays and does not transfer. He’s a play away from being a starter if Golson gets hurt though. Golson is clearly the starter and it was never in question. Now I want to see a prolific offense this year, this team is loaded offensively, even at tight end.

    If Niklas, Tuitt and Nix stayed they might all have been first round draft picks and ND would be scary this year instead of just deep.

    • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      He can transfer all he wants. He’s still gonna have to face same thing. He will not find another like kind in like quality anywhere.

      I used to shop around for a lot of coke n always came back to same guy. U know why? Good sht. Was easier for me to go to another dealer believe me but quality matters to me.

  8. aceinthehole12 - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    It has officially hit me that the season starts three Saturdays from now. I hope Golson 2.0 is ready to go to work.

    • irishwilliamsport - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      17 Days !!!

      • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        17 escorts, 17 8balls! Hell yeah boyyyyyyyyy!

  9. domerboyirish - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Well I guess it’s safe to say the Dickasman is home from work today. Did they find someone else to work the fryer?

    • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      Naw with obamacare, free citizenship, welfare, free education w grants, housing voucher, shtty economy filledw low paying part time jobs, why do I need to work for stupid? I’m all taken care of soooon! All Thanks to democrats like you on this board! I’m just waiting for this great country to pick up my cellphone n internet bill.

      Zero incentive for me to work n slave away.

      • ndgoldandblue - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        This is the wrong board for that nonsense, Richard. Take it elsewhere.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        I like the talk about how worthless our President is…

    • domerboyirish - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:20 PM


      A wee bit chatty today aren’t we? You really should be looking for help. I think that you may need some companionship, and taking a picture of my ‘big burrito’ would be more than you can handle.

    • domerboyirish - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      Sorry, I’m too busy to respond at length. They need me back at the griddle….

    • johngaltisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      Robin Williams had to have been doing blow for him to be financially bankrupt.

  10. mediocrebob - Aug 13, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    There’s no winning. People wanted a QB named which was Golson. Now it’s right to “Zaire is transferring…”. He’s technically a freshman who is one injury away from playing, which Golson has yet to prove durable. By the time Golson leaves, Zaire will know the offense inside and out, and have two remaining years of eligibility. Where would he leave to? There’s competition at every big time college program.

    • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      Bob I said the same thing but in more intelligently n articulately sir.

      • mediocrebob - Aug 14, 2014 at 10:41 PM

        I don’t read much of what you post on here.

    • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      Long lost brother?

    • irishmob89 - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Gunner Kiel learned that lesson the hard way. Makes me wonder if Golson would have came back if Kiel played well in 2012.

      • irishmob89 - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        I mean if he played well in 2013.

      • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        Gunner who? Nice name, must be a republican which is the only thing I like about him

      • dickasman - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        Can u imagine if his last name e was replaced w L? Woulda been one hell of a name. Woulda topped mine

      • ndgoldandblue - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        It’s all conjecture at this point that Gunner would have been the next in line. Again, it’s all hypothetical, but I think Kelly still would have gone with Rees. He just had way too much confidence in that guy.

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      well said bob.

      I didn’t view this as a fait accomplit from the outset however, as many seem to think it was. had golson shown up out of shape or not demonstrated he could manage the thinking part of the position, or had zaire exploded into camp and out-performed golson this announcement could have been different, or if nothing else, occurred a bit later.

      that being said, i’m glad golson got the nod and the chance to show how he has progressed and matured. then again, if he stinks it up (knock on wood) zaire may still have his chance to run the show, even if only as part of a two-man, qb by committee.

  11. onward2victory - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    True story: I’m in NYC this week with my wife. Yesterday we were making the usual tourist stops. At Rockefeller Plaza we were getting set to take a photo in front of that weird gold statue when I noticed a sticky note on a light pole. What was on the note made my jaw drop. “WHO IS JOHN GALT?” it read. You can imagine my surprise, I just can’t get away from our favorite troll. As I looked closer, it said in smaller writing, “coming to theaters 09.12.14”. I guess this John Galt guy is just a current trend.

    • rayguy14 - Aug 13, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      Current trend…from the 1920’s.

  12. dudeacow - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    TRUMBETTI IS STARTING. Bonner, Morgan, and Martini are in the two deep. Cage, Mokwuah, Hill, Tranquill, and Blakenship are all going to play. Jones, Schmidt, Onwualu, Redfield, Williams, and Collinsworth are full-time starters for the first time in their career.

    This is going to be a really good defense in the final five games of the season.

    This is going to be a really bad defense in the first three games of the season.


    • johngaltisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:33 PM

      Freshman DEFENSE .. Rewind to year 2 of Brian K tenure… I agree Golson is gonna have to score at will to win 6 this year.

  13. danirish - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Yay! Good for Golson! So, according to some Zaire will transfer? He has 4 years of eligibility and Golson has 2? Zaire will play this year injury or not.

    But in reality, I don’t care who starts or if we have a every other play switch – JUST WIN BABY!

    Season is only weeks away!


  14. nudeman - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Word is BK being treated for profound depression due to not being able to announce “Tommy is our quarterback. This is Tommy’s team”
    Plz send your wishes for a speedy recovery to BK c/o ND

    For the rest of you, party at my place ce soir.

    • fentocamarillo - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      I follow most of everyone’s comments on this board. Well, not exactly, I have a job. That does separate me from nude and dickas . So I rarely comment. But I cannot resist. Nude, when will you ever give up the Tommy boy reference? It is beyond boring. Childish, I’ll give you that. But please, give it a rest. I’m sure you’ll respond with some witty comment. And, typically, it will fall short of the mark. You’ll likely not hear from me again for quite a while. But at some point I’m sure I’ll be back just punk you again.

    • danirish - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      Well played! Who can it be this year? If Ishaq doesn’t finally come out of his shell/motor runs whatever…..

      GO IRISH!

      • jommy995 - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:58 PM


    • irishpuma - Aug 14, 2014 at 1:35 AM

      Come on Nude, Tommy made it to the next level lol….he lasted a day and a half at redskins camp then they saw him throw and he was shown the door, much to the dismay of knute’s ghost, and the other Rees lovers on here. lol……

      Waiting for BK to announce him as part of the staff soon!

  15. johngaltisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Zaire will be gone years end…

    • andy44teg - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:31 PM

      How do we know that Golson won’t be gone by year’s end? Justin sayin…

  16. runners00 - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    I think we’re in trouble if he’s the best quarterback in the stable. I hope I’m wrong. I hope, in his absence, Golson improved his accuracy and decisionmaking. We’ll see.

    • danirish - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      Yep, he really stunk it up when he played in 2012! Some Elite 11 recruited by top teams he turned out to be….

      • danirish - Aug 13, 2014 at 6:02 PM

        My comment was sarcasm by the way…

      • runners00 - Aug 14, 2014 at 1:35 PM

        53. That is how many teams had better offenses than Notre Dame in 2012. And that is with Tommy Rees quarterbacking some of the time because Everett Golson couldn’t get the offense going.

        80. That is thow many teams scored more points per game than the Irish in 2012.

        That was a fine team. Fine. We were better than in many years before that, for sure, and that year we were better than we were last year. But it was it Golson? Or was it Riddick, Wood and Manti Teo? I don’t know. LIke I said, I am rooting for the guy and I hope he delivers but it’s tough to see it happening.

    • blackirish23 - Aug 13, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      Why is the back up QB always the most popular guy with the fans? What have you seen from Zaire that says he’s better than Golson??

      There’s an old saying, “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” Golson has walked the path. Zaire playing well in a glorified and meaningless “Blue-Gold” practice doesn’t equate to success in front of 80,000+ cheering fans when the game means something. Golson has walked that path and succeeded, albeit not without some trying times.

      Let’s let Zaire experience that in his own way and in his own time, so that when the reigns are passed on, it won’t be to green horn.

      Let’s get behind our QB and cheer our Irish on to a great season!!

      Go Irish!!

      • runners00 - Aug 14, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        I’m not saying Zaire is better. I’m observing that if Golson’s the best we got, we’ve got problems.

  17. irishlad19 - Aug 13, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Dickasman is clearly a disturbed individual who is off his meds, on a manic phase. Sad to see someone disturbed acting out online.

  18. irishlad19 - Aug 13, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Keeping Zaire at ND is Kelly’s challenge; keep whispering, “Kiel, Kiel…”.

  19. johngaltsassisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    Kelly has no way of keeping all three scholarship QB’s. One may play for an SEC cellar dweller sooner than you think.


    • johngaltisspeaking - Aug 14, 2014 at 2:08 AM

      SEC SEC

  20. johngaltsassisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    Ghoulstonson is going to carry them for the first three quarters. After that, the defense will have to stop somebody.

    • dwp1991 - Aug 13, 2014 at 7:01 PM

      I’m pretty sure he’s allowed to play the fourth quarter as well.

  21. johngaltisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    Zaire is way too good to be not playing. Brian K would have been better to say he is playing both.

  22. johngaltisspeaking - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    There is one thing Brian K will learn after this potential 6-6 season. What 3 star freshman panned out and which belong on the Wyoming team. I think this is the down turn to Brian K career at ND. He had one great year the rest were all 8 win seasons.

    • dwp1991 - Aug 14, 2014 at 7:38 AM

      Hey man! We won 9 games last season, and I’ll be damned if you don’t count the Pinstripe Bowl!

      • johngaltisspeaking - Aug 14, 2014 at 9:59 AM

        The consolation don’t feel bad Obama Bowl.

  23. twebb2 - Aug 14, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    I haven’t yet read all the comments, but I’m very happy for Golson. He easily could have left ND behind last year hoping for a clean slate somewhere else, and he could have done that with his head held high. But he chose the more difficult road, to come back to the place where he had made a very poor decision, and take the glare of the spotlight that comes with being the ND QB1.

    Some guys come to college already as men. Some haven’t yet really matured and do so at school, but some others still leave college without becoming men. It seems to me that Golson has really matured through this, if he wasn’t a man before, he is now and he’s done a manly thing by answering for his poor choice and coming back. I’m really, really rooting for this young man!!!

  24. viktory2013 - Aug 14, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Can’t imagine Zaire wanting to transfer. He’s an inch away from starting at Notre Dame and being on Sports center every week; you don’t flush that away to be a starter at Marshall or Ball St. Have a feeling this might end up being a ’12 type season. If Jaylon Smith can amp up to a Teo level on defense (and I honestly think he can), this team just might squeeze the pus out of some these hotshot teams. They’re even picking ND for top twenty here in SoCal!

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