Notre Dame's Everett Golson not a lock to be starter, Kelly says


Everett Golson's readmittance to Notre Dame following his May suspension was big news for a team that sorely missed his dynamic play on offense and is also losing starting quarterback Tommy Rees to graduation.

It was generally expected that Golson, who led the Irish to a BCS title game appearance in 2012, would reclaim his starting job next season.

But Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly said Friday that he isn't ready to hand Golson the job just yet.

"I know we're always in this rush to move to Everett, but I just want to caution everybody that we have, I think, a very good quarterback in Malik Zaire as well," Kelly said, referring to the Irish QB who'll enter next season as a redshirt freshman. "I'm not ready to hand everything over to Everett.

"I love Everett. He played in the national championship game," Kelly said. "But I'm also someone that wants to make sure the quarterback position is such that we give everybody an opportunity to compete for that position. Malik is going to get that chance as well."

Like Golson, Zaire is a mobile quarterback. He was one of the nation's top dual-threat prospects coming out of high school in 2012, receiving offers from schools such as Alabama and Arizona before choosing Notre Dame.

Golson missed all of last season after he was suspended in May for a violation of the student honor code; he later admitted to Sports Illustrated that he cheated on a test. Golson spent parts of 2013 working out in California with George Whitfield Jr., the quarterbacks guru who recently has also worked with Johnny Manziel.

Whoever wins the starting job should fit into the Kelly's plans for the offense, which unlike last season with Rees under center should be fast-paced.

"I think what I'm looking for in particular is somebody that can make some things happen outside the pocket," Kelly said. "We have been driven behind the tackles for the last couple of years. We would like to be a little bit more dynamic outside the pocket."

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