Author: Keith Arnold

Recruit Bo Wallace announces he’s not coming to Notre Dame


A few hours after Notre Dame lost one of their two quarterbacking options, their incoming freshman pass rusher announced his own departure as well.

New Orleans prospect Bo Wallace took to Twitter to announce he’ll no longer be attending Notre Dame. He gave no rationale as to why that was the case. But as the Irish try to avoid an 85-man roster crunch, a process that was thought to take until the fall might be done by Friday afternoon at this pace .

Wallace, a three-star prospect who could slot in at weakside defensive end, was a Semper Fi All-American. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder from John Curtis High School was the lone true pass rusher in the recruiting class.

“We were looking for a flat‑out pass rusher, and we found one in Bo Wallace,” Kelly said in February. “He can come off the edge and pass rush.  He’s going to have to put on some weight right now but we’ll get him in here in June and Coach Longo and his staff will get to work with him.”

Where Wallace ends up this fall remains to be seen—and the timing of his departure could lead some to believe it’s an academic issue. But in a recruiting class that sorely needed personnel that could come off the edge and rush the passer, the Irish have missed completely after the loss of Wallace.


It’s official: Everett Golson will transfer (UPDATED)

Everett Golson

It’s official: Everett Golson is transferring.

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reported the move via Twitter, likely scooping Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman, who has an official quote from Golson, who is deciding to move on after earning his degree from Notre Dame.

The two-headed quarterback of Golson and Malik Zaire left spring practice with Golson seemingly ahead of Zaire. But Golson’s decision to leave and start over leaves the Irish with Zaire and a depth chart of inexperienced backups behind him, with redshirt freshman DeShone Kizer and true freshman Brandon Wimbush getting to campus in June.

Golson gave the following statement to Feldman and Fox Sports:

“After much thought, prayer and discussion with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to graduate from Notre Dame and transfer to another school effectively immediately,” Golson said. “I would like to thank everyone at Notre Dame for the opportunity to compete at the highest level of college football, but most importantly to obtain my degree from one of the finest universities in the country. To all the Fighting Irish fans, I want to thank you for your support over the past four years and let you know I truly love Notre Dame. To my former teammates, who I will miss tremendously, I wish much success in the future and will be your biggest fan from afar.

“I will have no future comment at this time and ask that you respect my time as I figure out this live changing moment. God has a plan for each of us and I ask for your prayers as I move forward in this new journey in my life.”

Poised to be a four-year starter, Golson’s career went sideways after leading the Irish to an undefeated 2012 regular season and a date in the BCS title game against Alabama.

An academic violation cost him the 2013 season and the fall semester. Golson returned for spring football after his suspension, winning the 2014 starting job over Zaire.

But after a hot start to the season, turnovers doomed Golson, torpedoing the Irish offense and eventually costing him his starting job after being pulled before halftime in the blowout loss to USC.

There’s been no comment from Notre Dame about the transfer. But entering his sixth season, Brian Kelly is once again looking for a starting quarterback—as Golson’s career in South Bend is over.


UPDATED: Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame football program released the following statement:

“I’d like to thank Everett Golson for all he did as a member of our football program. He had many significant achievements, including helping us to an undefeated regular season and berth into the national title game. But his most important accomplishment is completing his course work toward a degree from the University of Notre Dame. I wish him all the best moving forward.

“We, of course, have approached our preparations for the upcoming season with this possibility in mind. The emergence of Malik Zaire, based on his performance in the Music City Bowl win over LSU, and throughout spring practice, has given our staff supreme confidence that he can lead our team to great success in 2015.”


ESPN Report: Golson plans to transfer

Michigan v Notre Dame

With finals nearly finished and Everett Golson on track to earn his degree in the coming weeks, ESPN’s Brett McMurphy broke the news that Irish fans had to be dreading.

Per McMurphy, Golson plans to transfer and play out his eligibility elsewhere.

The story is still developing. There’s no comment out of anyone inside Notre Dame nor in Golson’s camp.

But after sharing time with Malik Zaire this spring—and exiting the Blue-Gold game looking like the team’s No. 1 quarterback—Golson appears unwilling to compete for the starting job, or share snaps with Zaire.

There’ll be plenty more to come. But the story of the spring was Brian Kelly finding a way to keep both quarterbacks on campus. One major media outlet is reporting that it won’t happen.


Former Irish TE John Carlson retires from NFL

North Carolina Tar Heels v Notre Dame Fighting Irish

One of the branches on Notre Dame’s NFL tight end tree is retiring. Former Irish star John Carlson, a former second-round pick who spent seven seasons as a professional, is stepping away from football. Carlson played for the Irish from 2003-07 and spent time with the Seahawks, Vikings and the Cardinals.

The decision was a surprise, with Carlson working out with the team as recently as this Monday. Via the Arizona Cardinals’ official website, Carlson released this statement:

“After much thought and consideration, my wife Danielle and I know that this is the best decision for us,” Carlson said. “I was blessed to play seven seasons in the NFL for three tremendous organizations – the Cardinals, Vikings and Seahawks. I will always treasure the experiences and relationships made during that time but I’m also very excited about the next phase of my life and what’s ahead.”

Carlson was in the middle of a two-year, $4.65 million-dollar contract. Some have suspected that head injuries have played a role in the decision, with Carlson having three reported concussions during his NFL career, including one that ended his 2014 season after Week 14.

Carlson was a former Irish captain who served as a bright spot during the 2007 season, putting up a team-high 40 catches before being selected with the 38th overall pick by the Seahawks. But his early productivity in the NFL was never matched, and Carlson was cut after two seasons by the Minnesota Vikings after struggling with injuries, after his hometown team gave him a five-year, $25 million contract. (Carlson was eventually replaced in Minnesota by fellow Notre Dame TE Kyle Rudolph.)

Carlson followed Anthony Fasano‘s footsteps to the NFL, the second-straight second-rounder Charlie Weis produced. He was a U.S. Army All-American out of high school and an All-State performer in Minnesota in the recruiting class that produced Brady Quinn, Ryan Harris and Tom Zbikowski.

Carlson spent last season in Arizona, joining fellow Irish grad Troy Niklas at tight end. Niklas will now be asked to step up with Carlson’s unexpected departure.

“I don’t know if it’s really hit me yet,” Niklas told the Cardinals’ official website. “None of us really saw it coming. We’re just going to miss him. Personally, he’s helped me so much, learning the offense. He’s been a great teammate and mentor-like, helping me get into the NFL. I was looking forward to playing with him again this season.”


Mailbag: Now Open

New Mailbox

It’s finals week on campus.

That means nothing for us here in front of computers, but at least we aren’t cramming everything we were supposed to learn this semester into our brains late into the night.

Drop your questions below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.