Former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson is in search of a home for his final year of college football, and speculation is rampant about where he might land. It's been a roller coaster of a career for the Myrtle Beach, S.C., native. After leading the Fighting Irish on a run to the National Championship Game during the 2012 season, he was suspended by Notre Dame for all of 2013 for academic impropriety. He returned last season to throw for nearly 3,500 yards, but frustrated coach Brian Kelly with 14 interceptions and a fumbling problem to boot.
One caveat: We'll not clutter the probability of Golson's landing spot with any weight lent to the SEC's bylaw that would prevent him from transferring into the league because of his 2013 suspension absent a waiver. The waiver has been described elsewhere in the media as a "hurdle" for any hope of Golson joining the SEC. Expect it to be as much a hurdle for Golson as jumping over an ant hill would be a hurdle for Byron Jones, the Dallas Cowboys rookie who set a broad jump record at the combine. Golson has a degree from Notre Dame now and with it earned the option to transfer without sitting out a year -- suffice it to say the SEC can safely admit him without opening the floodgates of precedent. The SEC also bars student-athletes from transferring into the SEC with less than two years of eligibility unless they have some explanation of hardship or their former school discontinued their sport. We don't expect that restriction to prevent a move to the SEC for Golson, either.
Write it in pencil: Florida State
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher is the only coach who has publicly acknowledged contact with Golson, and he likely wouldn't have done so if he didn't have some measure of confidence that Golson is on his way to Tallahassee. FSU has a quarterback opening after the early draft entry of Jameis Winston. Golson would certainly have plenty of talent at his disposal with the Seminoles. Reportedly, Golson favors FSU. And why wouldn't he? There might not be a better place to showcase himself to the NFL for next year's draft.
Distant second: Georgia
Golson reportedly visited the Bulldogs on Wednesday, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, though head coach Mark Richt wouldn't confirm that on a media teleconference Wednesday. Like FSU, Georgia is facing turnover at the quarterback position. And like FSU, the Bulldogs would have their share of weapons to which Golson could distribute the ball. Georgia is also relatively close to Golson's hometown of Myrtle Beach, S.C., a factor not to be overlooked.
Next up: Florida
Golson visited UF earlier this week, per Sports Illustrated. But what kind of fit would this be? Sure, Florida has an opening at the position like every other school on the list, but the attraction should end there for Golson. Now that he has a degree from Notre Dame, this isn't really a school decision -- it's a football decision. And Florida's offensive line is in such shambles, new coach Jim McElwain considered not having a spring game. Why pick a school where you might spend your last season under siege from pass rushers?
Talk of Golson's transfer has cooled the rumor that Ohio State's Braxton Miller could end up with Alabama, but only a little bit. No quarterback emerged as Alabama's starter-to-be in spring drills, which gave way to more transfer speculation. Consider it a longshot at best. If it were to happen, Golson had better squash his turnover bug from Day 1 of fall camp, or Nick Saban's staunch aversion to interceptions might result in a spot on the bench.
The left coast: UCLA
UCLA was among the 10 schools that Golson requested that Notre Dame allow him to consider, according to ESPN. The Bruins have to find a replacement for Brett Hundley and Golson has more than enough experience to compete for the job, but ESPN reported the school has had no contact with him.
Forget it: South Carolina
That Golson is from Myrtle Beach makes South Carolina somewhat logical, but Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier quashed the Golson speculation earlier this week when he said his program isn't involved in the race.