Brian Kelly met with the assembled media and confirmed what I tweeted this morning: Sophomore Everett Golson will be the Irish’s starting quarterback.
“It was a tough decision, but Everett won the starting job,” Kelly said after practice tonight. “If everything is going the way we planned it, he will play the whole game.”
Golson’s play this fall has been a welcome sight for Kelly and offensive coordinator Chuck Martin. With incumbent starter Tommy Rees on the sidelines after a spring arrest got him suspended for the season’s opening game, Golson won the job outright after splitting virtually all the first team reps with junior Andrew Hendrix, a sign that the team was ready to go in a different direction after two seasons with Rees at the helm.
Putting the Irish’s offense into the hands of a player taking his first snaps is a dangerous proposition, but one that Kelly and company feel comfortable with after Golson’s maturation over the last calendar year. There will certainly be guardrails on the Irish offense, potentially simplifying a scheme that got too vanilla last season, but one that’ll also be opened up by the sophomore from Myrtle Beach’s ability to extend plays with his legs and competently run the zone read and option, two keys to Kelly’s offensive attack.
Hendrix will back up Golson in Dublin until Rees makes his way back into the depth chart in week two. What happens behind Golson — or how long of a hook he has — remains to be seen, yet Kelly has consistently said this spring that he’d like to play one quarterback.