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Irish Insights


Irish hope Golson sticks

Notre Dame has been here before.

Coach Brian Kelly, who named sophomore Everett Golson the starting quarterback Thursday, did the same thing last year. Only a year ago, it was Kelly naming Dayne Crist the starter.

And just like last year Kelly, said he wanted the quarterback he named before the season opener to be the starter for the entire season. Of course, that didn't work in 2011.

Crist was removed at halftime of a season-opening loss to South Florida, and Tommy Rees started the rest of the Irish's games. Crist has since moved on to Kansas.

Kelly said Thursday when he announced Golson as the starter against Notre Dame's game against Navy on Sept. 1 in Dublin, Ireland, that he hopes he doesn't have to repeat what he did last year.

"I don't think you go into any year and think, 'Boy, I want to make a change at halftime,' " Kelly said. "You want to be able to stick with a guy and build continuity, especially with a guy who has four seasons of competition. You want to build on that."

Golson, who didn't play as a freshman, beat out junior Andrew Hendrix for the starting job.

Hendrix played in five games last year, getting more time behind Rees in the final two games of 2011. The Irish also have Rees, who is suspended for the opener because of a May arrest, and freshman Gunner Kiel at quarterback.

While Golson knows there are options behind him, he said he hopes to be able to hold onto the starting job all season.

"I think it is very important, but I think it is more important to have the best guy for the job," Golson said of having one quarterback. "You want to have that same guy that everybody can really rally around, that one guy that can really show that leadership. I think that is very important."

Kelly said it is easier to stick with one quarterback when that player has a track record. But that is not in the cards for the Irish.

"We don't have a veteran quarterback, yet, but we are very confident in (Golson's) ability to go and lead us," Kelly said. "I think some of the things I like from Everett is his poise was really outstanding, great vision down the field. Those things are really positive, even if you don't have a lot of experience."

Golson said he is comforted by some of the veteran talent the Irish have on the offense. Notre Dame returns three starters on the offensive line, and they have running back Cierre Wood and tight end Tyler Eifert to carry a lot of the playmaking load on offense.

"What makes me more comfortable back there is just my teammates," Golson said. "You talk about the veterans. You have the O-line. You got veteran wide receivers, and the quarterbacks out there just helping me.

"That's made me more comfortable."