Notre Dame’s quarterback competition between senior Everett Golson and redshirt sophomore Malik Zaire will likely continue into the fall and head coach Brian Kelly said Wednesday he would take that quarterback situation over any other team in the country – including national champion Ohio State.
“There are certain areas that I think at the quarterback position, maybe other than Ohio State, I would take our two quarterbacks,” Kelly said per BlueandGold.com. “I would take our two over Ohio State’s, but in terms of depth, I don’t know that anybody has a better situation than we do with the two quarterbacks that we have.”
Miller was the Big Ten offensive player of the year in 2012 and 2013, but was injured prior to the 2014 season. With Miller out, Barrett stepped into the starting role and thrived with 2,834 yards and 34 touchdowns passing, 938 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground and an 11-1 record as a redshirt freshman. Barrett went down with a fractured ankle in the Buckeyes’ regular season finale, and Jones, a redshirt sophomore, stepped in and led the Buckeyes to a Big Ten title over Wisconsin, a national semifinal win over Alabama and a national championship victory over Oregon.
For Notre Dame, Golson led the team to a national title game appearance as a redshirt freshman in 2012 and threw for 3,445 yards, 29 touchdowns last season (he was suspended for the 2013 season). However, after throwing 14 interceptions and losing eight fumbles last year, Kelly gave Zaire his first career start against LSU in the Music City Bowl.
Though Golson was rotated in throughout the game, Zaire’s mix of run and pass helped the Irish pull out a 31-28 victory. Since then, the two have been competing for the starting role.
Every coach will tell you that having two capable starters at quarterback is a good problem to have, but Ohio State has three. The comparison between Notre Dame and OSU may sound silly, but it had to be a confidence boost for Golson and Zaire to know that their head coach holds them in such high regard.
Golson and Zaire will continue to fight for the top spot on Saturday in the Irish’s Blue-Gold spring game.
For more Notre Dame news, visit BlueAndGold.com.
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