The parting of ways between Notre Dame and quarterback Everett Golson is at hand.
The senior will transfer after throwing for 3,445 yards and 29 touchdowns last season. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was critical of Golson for his penchant for turnovers (14 interceptions; lost 8 fumbles) last season and started backup QB Malik Zaire over Golson in the team's bowl game, leading to speculation that Golson's days with the Fighting Irish could be numbered.
"After much thought, prayer and discussion with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to graduate from Notre Dame and transfer to another school (effective) immediately. I would like to thank everyone at Notre Dame for the opportunity to compete at the highest level of college football, but most importantly to obtain my degree from one of the finest universities in the country. To all the Fighting Irish fans, I want to thank you for your support over the past four years and let you know I truly love Notre Dame. To my former teammates, who I will miss tremendously, I wish (you) much success in the future and will be your biggest fan from afar. I will have no future comment at this time and ask that you respect my time as I figure out this (life) changing moment. God has a plan for each of us and I ask for your prayers as I move forward in this new journey in my life."
Kelly also released a statement Thursday. He thanked Golson and wished him well, but obviously wasn't surprised by Golson's decision, saying "We, of course, have approached our preparations for the upcoming season with this possibility in mind."
There was a report earlier this year that Golson was exploring a possible transfer to LSU, but it's unclear where the veteran starter might land.
Golson's career at Notre Dame was something of a roller coaster, having played in a National Championship Game against Alabama after the 2012 season, then serving an academic suspension for the entirety of 2013 before returning last year.
Graduates can transfer to a program without sitting out a season under an NCAA provision that waives the normal transfer requirement. However, if Golson wants to transfer to an SEC school, some extra paperwork would have to be involved. There is an SEC rule that requires graduate transfers have a clean disciplinary record at the previous institution. Golson's 2013 suspension leaves him short of that requirement, although the league could supply a waiver.
As for the best fit for Golson? NFL Media analyst Charles Davis says a great one would be with Texas. Of course, Notre Dame opens the season against Texas on Sept. 5, which has invited questions about whether Notre Dame would block such a transfer -- reportedly, the school does have the power to do so, depending on which school Golson selects.