The shock waves are still being felt this morning in South Bend as news that quarterback Everett Golson is no longer enrolled at Notre Dame has many Irish fans scratching their heads and searching for answers. The question on everyone’s mind aside from the obvious why is Golson no longer the quarterback is who will be the new quarterback in 2013?
Assuming Golson doesn’t re-enroll and by some miracle returned to his role as the starter, the Irish will have to look at the four quarterbacks currently on their spring roster — only one of whom has starting experience.
Tommy Rees is likely going to be the new favorite to win the quarterback job but he’s likely going to face competition before he’s simply handed the job. Despite being a Junior last season, Rees was passed over in favor of Golson, who was a a Sophomore in 2012 when he led the Irish to the National Championship.
Beyond Rees, there is fellow Andrew Hendrix, Charlie Fiessinger and Malik Zaire. Both Rees and Hendrix enter the spring as Seniors on Brian Kelly’s roster while Fiessinger is a Junior and Zaire is still a raw Freshman who was ranked as the sixth-best quarterback prospect in the 2013 recruiting class.
What is now being magnified is the loss of Gunner Kiel, who transferred to Cincinnati to play for the Bearcats earlier this year. With Kiel gone, the job is up to the three quarterback’s left behind Rees to fight for the job.
Both Hendrix and Fiessinger saw the field in a very limited capacity in 2012 as Hendrix was viewed as more of a change-of-pace quarterback in his Sophomore year and completed five passes all season long. Fiessinger saw even more limited action and has virtually no statistics to speak of with the Irish.
The loss of Golson is one that hurts now but can be overcome. Rees is still an experienced quarterback and remember that Golson sort of rose to the top in the spring of 2012 and overtook the starting job from Rees not long after that. So it’s not out of the question to believe that Hendrix, Fiessinger or Zaire could do the same.
Nevertheless, the Irish have a serious issue on their hands and they’ll need to figure out their quarterback situation before the start of the season. Thanks to Golson’s high profile exit from the university, all eyes will be on what the Irish do to replace him.