Aug. 13, 2014Brian Kelly took 11 preseason practices to reach a decision, but as of this afternoon, his mind is made up: senior Everett Golson will lead the Irish as starting quarterback in just two weeks against Rice University.
"Generally, when you look at making that decision, I'm using January through right now as the basis," Kelly explained. "I looked at winter workouts, how he handled himself with the team, his spring season, his leadership in the summer and then camp here. I think he's put himself in the position to get that opportunity to be our starter against Rice."
Kelly made the decision between Golson and Malik Zaire following a months-long contest between the two quarterbacks. The head coach cited Golson's leadership and big-picture understanding of the game as the two factors that ultimately gave him the upper hand.
"There was competition until I made that decision and there will still be competition," Kelly said. "This is a merit-based situation. We've got to win. Everett knows that."
Golson is well aware of the pressures associated with starting. Two years ago, he says he viewed the news as an accomplishment. Now, he knows it's just a step before continuing his preparation.
"There's a heightened responsibility on my part," Golson said. "It's my job to get these guys right on the offense and to lead this team. This job is not something solid. If you come out and play bad in week one, it's up for grabs. You have to know that going into it, so I've got to do the best I can to prepare."
Golson will take the field with the Irish Aug. 30 in the home opener against Rice at 3:30 p.m.
--Lauren Chval, Media Relations Assistant