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College Football: Everett Golson, Malik Zaire have ‘a lot of work to do’

Updated: May 11, 2014 9:59AM



SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame is still months away from its first exam, as in a game.

But coach Brian Kelly did grade quarterbacks Everett Golson and Malik Zaire recently.

The marks weren’t stellar.

“Nobody had a 2.0 cumulative, and the quarterbacks agreed with that grading system,” Kelly said Wednesday. “We have a number of categories that we grade them, and a lot of it is because they were taking 500-level classes. It wasn’t easy stuff for them. The great part about it is that they see that as well that they’ve got a lot of work to do.

“Malik hasn’t played (in a game) yet. Everett played (in 2012) but you saw how we ran the offense with Everett. We took him out in a few games and (former quarterback) Tommy (Rees) helped us win some games. The defense did a great job of winning games for us, and he didn’t play last year (because of a suspension). He’s still learning, too.”

Kelly believes going against Brian VanGorder’s new defense has been beneficial.

“They have seen more exotics, they have seen more things than they will see next year at any one time, and it’s difficult on them. It’s really hard on them. But I’d rather it be difficult, so when I go into that meeting, we have great meetings that we can teach off of and learn off of, and get better at,” Kelly said.

“Our quarterbacks understand that. They know right now that when it comes to pocket presence and route progression and how they protect themselves, they are not even close to where they need to be. Now having said that, what we’re seeing is really some 500-level stuff. It’s all good stuff, and I’d rather have it that way than have them line up like ducks and we get to the fall and ‘it’s the first time I’ve ever seen that, coach.’”

Notes: Saturday’s Blue-Gold game feature two 12-minute quarters with normal clock stoppage in the first half. The second half will be two 15-minute quarters with a running clock. The point format is offense against defense. In addition to traditional scoring like touchdowns, points will be awarded for categories such as a pass play of 20 or more yards (two points) and a defensive stop before the 50 (four points).

“We just don’t have enough offensive linemen,” Kelly said of the reasoning behind the format.

… Kelly said recruiting is one of the benefits of a potential series with Georgia.

“We’ve got to look at geographic areas that we’re recruiting. Atlanta’s one of those areas that we’ve got to keep getting in,” Kelly said.



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