College football: QB Everett Golson embracing his role as ND’s leader
By LaMond Pope firstname.lastname@example.org/@lamondpope April 12, 2013 9:18PM
Notre Dame v Oklahoma
Updated: May 14, 2013 6:23AM
SOUTH BEND — There’s been no debate about the quarterback position this spring at Notre Dame.
No questions or controversies surrounding one of the most prestigious spots in college football.
But Everett Golson hasn’t given much thought to being the man at the top the depth chart.
“The No. 1 is only good for so much,” Golson said Friday. “You go out there and throw a couple of picks, who knows. Maybe it’s another controversy again. My thing is, I’ll never be complacent. I’ll always stay hungry. I’ll always stay driven.”
Golson seized control of the starting spot while guiding the Irish to the BCS national championship game last season as a redshirt freshman.
The 42-14 loss to Alabama has stuck with him.
“Getting there and seeing what it was like and having your dreams crushed, I know that fire is in me to get back and other guys too, it’s motivation to strive to be better,” he said.
Golson completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 2,405 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also rushed for 298 yards and six scores.
But the numbers tell just a portion of the story.
“The game is definitely faster when you are inexperienced,” he said. “A lot of things, you almost overthink it instead of just knowing it and reacting. That’s where the biggest progression was for me and that’s where I’m at now.
“… I’ve developed tremendously, but it came with the relationship we do have, the relationship we built in the season we had this past year. It was a good season for us, but what it did for me was help me build relationships with the guys on the offensive line, the wide receivers and just create more of a bond together.”
The experience has helped him as he’s developed into one of the team’s leaders.
“I understand this team is not the 2012 Notre Dame football team. This is a whole other year,” Golson said. “This is a whole other group of guys. Leaders are going to have to step up and lead this team.”
Teammates and coaches have said Golson has done just that.
“I’ve seen him do a lot of things and read the defense really well in practice. He’s been really exciting to play with,” wide receiver C.J. Prosise said. “He’s the most vocal person we have on this team. It’s definitely good to see from our quarterback.”
“Everett is obviously a much better leader of our offense,” coach Brian Kelly said last week, “and when your quarterback is leading out there, that’s very positive.”
Golson didn’t think he “had” to be a leader. He wanted that role.
“I’m more willing to (be a leader),” he said. “Being that I’m the quarterback at such a prestigious university and such a great team and I have so many great teammates, I want to be in that leadership role.”
And now Golson wants more. More success. More responsibility. More production out of the offense.
“For me, personally it’s more on us because I expect more from us,” he said of the offense. “In 2012, we didn’t really make our mark. You can blame it on the excuse that it was our first time going through it, but at the end of the day we didn’t do our job.
“That’s an emphasis for me personally to make this offense better and to have a better season.”