Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson gets ready to throw a pass Saturday Aug. 9, 2014 in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame opens the season against Rice at home Saturday Aug. 30. At right is quarterback Malik Zaire. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)
Updated: September 15, 2014 5:37PM
SOUTH BEND — The news wasn’t exactly shocking.
In fact, Everett Golson didn’t have much of a reaction Wednesday after he found out he had earned the starting quarterback spot for Notre Dame’s opener against Rice.
Golson’s approach, according to coach Brian Kelly, was along the lines of “let’s go to work.”
After missing the 2013 season because of a suspension tied to academics, Golson is working on turning the page. Having come out on top of the preseason camp quarterback battle with Malik Zaire, Golson will get his first crack at writing the next chapter Aug. 30 against the Owls.
“It is an accomplishment, knowing that everything that has transpired from me getting suspended to me coming back and battling with Malik. It is a sense of accomplishment,” Golson said Wednesday. “But I think my mind is so set on moving forward and what’s next. I’m trying to get ready for week one and prepare for the best of my ability.”
Most assumed Golson would regain the starting role once he returned from his suspension. After all, he started 11 of the team’s 13 contests in the 2012 season, including the BCS national title game. Instead, he spent the entire spring locked in a competition with Zaire, who didn’t appear in any games as a freshman in 2013.
Kelly based his decision on what he saw from January until the first week of preseason camp.
“Winter workouts, how (Golson) handled himself with the team workouts. His spring practice and then his leadership in summer and then camp, he’s put himself in a position to get that opportunity to be our starter,” Kelly said.
Kelly made the choice and told his staff Tuesday. He informed both quarterbacks Wednesday morning.
“I don’t think I prepared like a backup,” Golson said when asked if he ever doubted he would be named the starter. “I tried to prepare the best way I could and prepare every day like a starter.”
And now comes the tough part, guiding the Irish through a schedule that includes five teams ranked in the preseason coaches’ poll, including No. 1 Florida State.
“You know that you have to go to work now. I have to do my best to prepare for Rice and Week 1,” Golson said. “That job is not something solid. You come out and play bad week one, it’s up for grabs. You have to know that going into it. I just have to do my best to prepare.”