Notre Dame QB Everett Golson: ‘I knew I messed up’
BY LAMOND POPE Sun-Timed Media March 3, 2014 9:47PM
Updated: April 5, 2014 6:21AM
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — It all hit Everett Golson on Aug. 31.
He was no longer the starting quarterback at Notre Dame. He wasn’t even enrolled at the university.
Golson was in Chicago, watching on television as the Irish prepared for the season opener against Temple.
“I went through the whole process of first feeling humiliated for one, but then coming back around to where I am now — me being back here and getting ready to go,” Golson said after Notre Dame’s first practice of the spring on Monday.
Golson is trying to put the academic suspension that cost him the 2013 season in the rear-view mirror. He did not want to address what specifically led to his time away from the program.
He is concentrating on how he can help the Irish in 2014.
“I regret it in a sense, but it allowed me to grow so much,” Golson said. “My maturity level is completely different now. I had some time to really sit back and think on what I did and how I could move forward from that. I’m a different person because of it.”
Golson admitted he felt anxious returning to the practice field.
“I was a little too excited at first,” he said, “but it felt good just to be back out there with those guys and working toward one goal.”
Early in practice, Golson looked sharp. He rolled to his left and completed a pass to wide receiver Corey Robinson. Moments later, Golson successfully executed a screen pass to Chris Brown and then connected with tight end Ben Koyack twice.
“Everett stepped in there and the tempo of the offense was outstanding,” coach Brian Kelly said. “For a first day, it was really exciting for me to watch him be back in there and look as though he was with us last year. It didn’t feel like there was a big gap relative to his lack of not being here last year.”
Golson helped Notre Dame reach the BCS national title game in 2013. He participated in spring drills in 2013, but was suspended in May for “poor academic judgment.” Golson had options while away from the program. He decided to spend time in California with noted quarterbacks guru George Whitfield Jr.
“My time out there with him was really great,” Golson said. “We sat down and talked about the science of being a quarterback and playing the quarterback position. Talking about the footwork, the mechanics and different things. I’ve changed so much. I think my time out there has helped me tremendously.”
His plan all along was to return to Notre Dame. He was readmitted to the school in December.
“I knew I messed up,” Golson said. “For me, I had to come back and complete what I kind of started.”
And that began Monday.
“It was crazy,” Golson said of putting on the No. 5 jersey again. “I want to say it was it was surreal in a sense, but I felt [gratified] for a split moment. I went through what I went through and now I’m back and moving forward and still continuing that process of trying to grind and be better.”