For Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, the tenure in South Bend has been far from a stroll through the park.
Between the accolade of embracing nine wins or more just a lone occasion in 2012 (loss to Alabama in the title game) and the recent off-field controversies regarding star players, subsequently hindering the performance of his troops, the fixation of the Notre Dame faithful then hovered over the Irish head coach in his selection under center for 2015.
When news surfaced Thursday of Everett Golson cutting ties with the Fighting Irish football program, Kelly may have finally exhaled a long sigh of relief.
As for all parties, it’s a win-win.
This is far from burning bridges; if people envision the transfer as a detonation to the Golden Gate, they are clearly mistaken.
While coaches on a moral basis will (almost) never bash a current or former player within the program, Kelly released a statement on behalf of Notre Dame Football. He seems a bit pacified now that the issue has been settled, but I’ll let you be the judge.
“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.”
He then transitioned to the excitement for sophomore quarterback Malik Zaire to grab the reigns as the Irish signal caller for 2015.
“We, of course, have approached our preparations for the upcoming season with this possibility in mind. The emergence of Malik Zaire, based on 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.”
In relation to the fans, well, you have your guy for next season. No more tossing and turning under the covers and questioning who will lead the gold-plated crowns out of the tunnel.
For those who pledged for a dual-quarterback system, you have to account for more than the couplet of names jotted on paper. Golson and Zaire simultaneously receiving action on the gridiron would have been a sight for all of South Bend, but in perspective, you’re tampering with the rhythm of the team.
Kelly has succeeded in the respected coordination of laboring multiple quarterbacks, but the job becomes easier with a lone leader.
As for Zaire, every word Kelly pronounced in his release stands true.
The product stemming from Kettering, Ohio was hauled into action the the final two contests of the season following a three-game drought for Notre Dame, in which he quickly flourished, conveying little to no fear once propped up on the big stage.
Telling a quarterback with a mere familiarity to the game speed of division-I to folly out on the field versus teams in USC and LSU, the versatile Zaire remained cool and composed.
Soaking his feet in The Coliseum, he went on to complete 9-20 passing to go along with his 170 yards, while also scampering for his first score.
It was a month later that Kelly pronounce Zaire the starter for Notre Dame’s bowl game against SEC-powerhouse LSU, and all he accomplished was securing a win.
A two-game sample won’t exactly tell the story here, but in a college football world where fans revel in the dynamics of a dual-threat quarterback, Zaire fits the description, culminating the latter of his season with 266 yards through the air, 187 yards rushing, and 3 total touchdowns, to go along with zero picks.
Sauntering over to the future of Golson, sources announce that the climax of his career will potentially be spent close to his residence in Myrtle Beach, where the likes of Georgia and South Carolina breeze in.
With the SEC lacking in the quarterback department for 2015, Golson holds the opportunity to shine in a fresh conference chocked full with a plethora of skill players.
With Kelly able to jab the snooze button for the coming weeks and the pair of quarterbacks both swiping starting jobs in 2015, the love triangle has officially been happily partitioned.