Suspended Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson left little doubt about whether he plans to rejoin the University of Notre Dame next year.
“I can tell you this. I will be returning,” Golson told Myrtle Beach’s WPDE. “I look forward to returning in the spring. That’s pretty much it.”
Golson was back in his hometown for a charity basketball game. The quarterback helped lead Notre Dame to a 12-1 record in 2012 as a redshirt freshman, but was suspended for the fall semester for “poor academic judgment.”
"I've been working out, keeping my head up," Golson said. "I've had a little adversity but I've learned you can't sit down and just take that, you got to pick yourself back up and keep going forward and continue doing what you were doing and everything is going to work itself out in the end."
Golson’s suspension is through the university, not the football team, but head coach Brian Kelly has said that the team will welcome him back if he qualifies.
"If the university lets him back into the school, that will be enough to let him back on the team,” announced the Irish coach in May. “Then it's back to work."
While Golson’s overall numbers in 2012 weren’t all that impressive (18 total touchdowns), he got better as the season went on (11 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions after the calendar flipped to November). His mobility helped to open up the Irish running game and also extend plays. He was a key part of road wins at Michigan State, Oklahoma and USC and led a furious fourth-quarter comeback against Pittsburgh.
With Golson out for the upcoming season, Kelly will turn to senior Tommy Rees, who is 14-4 in 18 career starts with the Irish. Other options on the roster include early enrollee freshman Malik Zaire and senior quarterback Andrew Hendrix, who has seen limited action in his time with the Irish. If Golson does make it back for the 2014 season, he’ll have to compete with Zaire and possibly DeShone Kizer, a four-star prospect out of Ohio who currently has a verbal commitment to the Irish.