There are many questions left to be answered with the sudden announcement that starting quarterback for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Everett Golson, is no longer enrolled in South Bend.
Why not? Who will take his spot? How does this affect the depth chart? How does this affect recruiting?
To answer the first part, no one is really saying why Golson is no longer enrolled. Due to privacy issues with the school, an exact reason isn’t yet public, but most are speculating it’s related to academics.
Secondly, you have to assume senior Tommy Rees will slide into the starting role. He was the starter the two seasons prior to last year’s National Championship run, and was expected to win the job once again before Golson beat him out. He’s got experience, moxy, toughness and perhaps more importantly, the respect of his teammates.
The depth chart is going to be thin this fall. This is just pure fact. With Golson gone, the Irish are left with Rees, senior Andrew Hendrix and freshman Malik Zaire. After this season, Rees will be gone, but Hendrix will still have another season of eligibility, and Zaire will have three to four, depending on playing time. Somewhere, Gunner Kiel must be kicking himself for transferring away from the Notre Dame quarterback battle too early.
And finally, the real question: how does this affect the recruiting?
Simply put: it won’t.
Regardless of the fact that Golson was enrolled or not, Brian Kelly was still planning on bringing in two to three quarterbacks for the 2014 recruiting class after Kiel transferred. Even before the Golson announcement, the Irish had already offered five signal callers in this class, three pro-style and two dual-threats. One recruit, William Ulmer (Washington DC), is verbally committed to another school (Maryland), but the rest are still available prospects. Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, AZ) is the highest ranked target of the Irish, and he’s considered the No. 1 pro-style QB in the country by rivals.com.
Remember people, a general rule of thumb for the college game is to bring on one quarterback a year. That way, you’ll always have an even and deep depth chart. Kelly has lived up to this philosophy since he’s been in South Bend, signing at least one quarterback every year. Rees and Hendrix were signed in the 2010 recruiting class. Golson in ’11, Kiel in ’12, and Zaire in the recently signed class of ’13.
With or without Golson, this philosophy will endure.
So ultimately, the Irish will be thin this fall at the quarterback position. But that will change when the Irish bring in more competition next spring with some early enrollees. With Golson gone, the recruiting strategy should remain status quo, with the Irish continually targeting and signing top signal callers nationwide.
But … imagine what would happen if the Irish weren’t able to sign any quarterbacks in the 2014 class? Whoa. Then the recruiting strategy might change a tad.