|Notre Dame Fighting Irish — No. 5|
|Date of birth:January 2, 1993|
|Place of birth: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina|
|Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)||Weight: 185 lb (84 kg)|
|High school: Myrtle Beach (SC)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at ESPN.com|
Everett Demone Golson (born January 2, 1993) is an American football quarterback playing for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. On May 25, 2013, it was reported that Golson no longer was enrolled at Notre Dame, though he was readmitted on December 13, 2013.
Golson was born to Wayne and Cynthia Golson and grew up in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. At Myrtle Beach High School, Golson threw 151 career touchdown passes for the football team, leading them to the AAA state titles in both 2008 and 2010, respectively. He also led the basketball team to a state title in 2008 as a point guard and was named to the all-state team.
The 2012 season began with Everett Golson beating out incumbent Tommy Rees for the starting quarterback's job back in late August.
Two weeks into the season, Notre Dame got to 2–0 by taking care of Navy (playing their opener abroad) in Dublin, Ireland, 50–10, and by defeating scrappy Purdue 20–17 in the game's closing seconds. Golson played very well in the win in Ireland by completing 12 of his 18 passes for 144 yards and a TD against the Midshipmen on September 1, 2012. He was superb versus Purdue (21-of-31 for 289 passing yards and 1 TD) a week later, but his costly fumble with 3:44 left in the 4th quarter put the Boilermakers back in the game. Notre Dame's coach Brian Kelly then turned to junior Tommy Rees, a seasoned veteran, who promptly took the Irish deep into Purdue territory (going 3-of-6 passing for 35 yards). Place kicker Kyle Brindza then added the finishing touches by hitting a game winning 27-yard field goal with seven seconds left.
Next, Golson and the Fighting Irish ventured into the state of Michigan—facing two Michigan teams on back-to-back weekends. Notre Dame first played Michigan State in East Lansing, and then faced the 18-ranked Michigan Wolverines (finished 8−5 in 2012) back in South Bend, Ind. on September 22. The Irish defense silenced Michigan State (linebacker Manti Te'o led with 12 tackles and a recovered fumble), limiting the Spartans to a 50-yard field goal in the 2nd quarter as Notre Dame took a 20–3 win on the road. Golson scored the game's first 2 TDs off a 36-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver John Goodman and off a 6-yard keeper to give Notre Dame a 14–3 lead at the half. Golson was safe with the football completing 14-of-32 passes for 178 yards as the Irish had no turnovers for the night.
Against Michigan, the Irish defense (led by Manti Te'o's 8 tackles and 2 picks) dominated the Wolverines as their speedy quarterback, Denard Robinson, struggled going 13-of-24 for 138 passing yards and 4 interceptions. The redshirt freshman Golson also struggled going 3 of 8 passing in the contest for just 30 yards. It didn't matter though as the Irish limited Michigan to 299 total yards of offense while forcing 6 turnovers.
Golson and Notre Dame got to 5-0 after defeating a nemesis from their past—the Miami Hurricanes. This would be Golson's last tune-up performance before going into battle with the meat of the schedule as this game was played in Chicago, Ill. (Soldier Field). It would also be a signature win for the 6-1, 185-pound quarterback who was gaining confidence with each performance as the season continued. In the early goings, the 4-1 Miami Hurricanes (finished 2012 at 7-5) cut into Notre Dame's lead at 7-3 after Jake Wieclaw connected on a 28-yard field goal with 5:32 left in the first quarter. Golson and company responded by scoring 34 unanswered points as the dual threat QB went 17 of 22 passing for 186 yards and rushed 6 times for 51 yards during the contest. Notre Dame won the grudge match, 41–3.
Trying times awaiting Golson and Notre Dame in October and going into the beginning of November as four tough tests would truly challenge this up-an-coming Irish program that was off to its best start in a decade. Bruised and battered, Golson and his teammates performed very well in the clutch. Golson suffered a concussion on October 13 from a helmet-to-helmet collision that knocked him out of the game with 3:27 left in regulation against Stanford in a hotly contested matchup between 7th-ranked Notre Dame and the 4th-ranked Cardinal (future Pac-12 Champions; finished season at 12–2, ranked No. 7). The Stanford Cardinal had gained control by taking a 10-3 lead going into the locker room. Golson answered with a 24-yard TD pass to his 6-foot-6 tight end, Tyler Eifert, to tie the score at 10–10 with 14:15 left in the 4th quarter. Tommy Rees entered the game with the Irish down 13–10 following Golson's concussion and finished with a game-tying drive in the last minute of regulation—as place kicker Brindza made good on a 22-yard field goal attempt. Next, Rees hit wideout T.J. Jones in overtime for a go-ahead 7-yard touchdown strike as the Irish held on to win 20–13. Golson went 12 of 24 for 141 yards passing and a TD. He also rushed for 41 yards on 15 carries against the Cardinal that included a 23-yard run.
The concussion caused Golson to miss the entire BYU game on October 20 as running backs Theo Riddick (15 rushes, 143 yards, and a 55-yard run) and Cierre Wood (18 carries, 114 yards) had to pick up the slack in what was a dangerous trap game for Notre Dame. BYU (finished season at 8–5) led 14–7 at the half, but running back George Atkinson III was able to find the end zone from 2 yards out with 12:52 left in the fourth quarter to assist the Irish cause as Notre Dame prevailed at home, 17–14.
Golson and the Fighting Irish next traveled to face No. 8 Oklahoma (finished the season at 10-3, ranked #15) on October 27. The matchup quickly turned into a hard-hitting slugfest as Cierre Wood broke off on a 62-yard TD run to give Notre Dame a 7-3 lead with 6:24 left in the first quarter. The Irish led 10-6 at the half. With the score still 10-6 with a minute left in the third quarter, Notre Dame received a scare when Golson took the snap out of the shotgun and raced with all of his quick, 4.59 (in the 40 yard dash) sprinter's speed up the middle of the field only to be met by Oklahoma's safety Tony Jefferson. Jefferson hit Golson square in the ribs, knocking him to the ground—and scooped up a loose football that was dangling on top of the grass. The Sooner's safety raced downfield with the ball toward the end zone for an apparent touchdown. Fortunately for the Irish, the fumble was ruled as a "dead ball" which preserved Notre Dame's lead and possession of the football. Golson, in the meantime, stayed down on the ground wincing in pain, crumpled, for several minutes as coach Kelly and several trainers came quickly to his rescue at the 40-yard line. Three plays later, he showed resilience—that he was mentally tough—by returning to complete the drive as Kyle Brindza connected on a 44-yard field goal to give Notre Dame a commanding 13–6 lead with 13:57 left in the 4th quarter. In the game's final five minutes of play, Golson scored on a 2-yard run as Notre Dame exploded in the end to defeat Oklahoma, 30–13. Golson finished with 11 rushes for 64 yards while completing 13 of his 25 passes for 177 yards during the contest.
The month of November belonged to Notre Dame, but it didn't start out that way. On November 3, Pittsburgh gave the Fighting Irish all they could stand as the Panthers expanded their 10-6 halftime lead to a 20-6 score going into the 4th quarter. Golson and the Irish had squandered three opportunities inside Pittsburgh's red zone. With Notre Dame fighting to stay alive and with their unbeaten streak on the line, Golson managed to hook up with wide receiver T.J. Jones for an 11-yard TD pass with 13:40 remaining in regulation. Notre Dame, playing at home, trailed Pittsburgh, 20-12. With time running out, Golson threw deep to DeVaris Daniels for a 45-yard gain down to the five-yard line. Moments later, Golson found Theo Riddick for a 5-yard TD pass with 2:11 remaining as the Irish signal caller converted the 2-point conversion with a keeper following Riddick's score. The game went into overtime as both teams traded field goals in the first of three overtime periods. In the second overtime, the Irish drove down to the 1-yard line only to have Cierre Wood caugh up the football, but Pitt was unable to cash in on Notre Dame's mistake as the Panthers' place kicker Kevin Harper went wide right on a 33-yard field goal try a series later. In the third overtime, Harper was able to give Pitt a 26-23 lead by making good on a 44-yard field goal. Finally, Golson was able to put the game away with a QB sneak 6 plays later as the Fighting Irish pulled off a monumental comeback win, 29-26, in three overtimes. Golson had solid numbers going 23-of-42 for 227 passing yards while rushing 15 times for 74 yards. He also had a 27-yard run in the contest.
After the struggles with Stanford, BYU, and Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Golson could now put their season on cruise control leading up to their matchup with the vaunted No. 2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. On November 10, the Irish ground out a win on the road over Boston College, 21-6. Notre Dame led 14-3 at the half. Golson scored on a 2-yard run and had touchdown passes of 7 and 18 yards to two different receivers against the Eagles. He was 16 of 24 passing the ball for 200 yards and two TDs while rushing 11 times for 40 yards and another score during this rivalry matchup.
The following week, Notre Dame blasted Wake Forest 38-0. There was breathing room, a chance to relax for coach Kelly's Irish as Cierre Wood got things started with a 68-yard TD run. Golson followed Wood's heroics with some of his own by throwing touchdown passes of 2, 50, and 34 yards to three different receivers. Notre Dame led 31-0 at halftime. Golson was 20 of 30 for 346 yards passing with 3 TDs against the Demon Deacons while Wood finished with 11 rushes for 150 yards.
Notre Dame traveled to face unranked Southern Cal on November 24 as this was the first time ever in history that a preseason ranked #1 team (USC), that was currently unranked, had to face another team that was ranked #1, but was unranked during the preseason. Right away, Notre Dame took advantage of the momentum by going up, 10-0, in the 1st quarter. The Irish led 16-10 at the half. USC, without star QB Matt Barkley due to an injury he suffered against UCLA, struggled with Max Wittek as their starting quarterback. With Golson managing the game, Notre Dame held a 22-13 lead late in the fourth quarter as Southern Cal drove deep into Irish territory thanks to its fleet-footed, sure-handed receiver Marqise Lee. However, an outstanding goal line stand (nine straight plays for the Trojans from inside the Irish five-yard line)— performed by Manti Te'o, Louis Nix III, Prince Shembo, and the rest of the Irish defense—kept USC out of the end zone. Finally, Golson and his offense ran a few snaps which salted the game away as the Fighting Irish claimed a perfect 12-0 regular season. The Irish signal caller was 15 of 26 for 217 passing yards versus USC. He also ran 9 times for 47 yards during the contest.
No. 1 ranked Notre Dame (12-0) was promptly invited to play in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game on January 7, 2013 during Golson's redshirt freshman season. They had to face a national power, the Alabama Crimson Tide (13-1), which has now claimed three BCS National Championships in the last five seasons. The Fighting Irish entered the matchup as a 10 point underdog. In the contest, perennial powerhouse Alabama jumped out to a 28-0 lead by halftime as coach Nick Saban's Crimson Tide went on to claim a 42-14 victory over the Irish. Golson went 21-of-36 passing the ball for 270 yards with a touchdown pass in the losing cause.
In his first season as the starting quarterback, Golson accomplished much for coach Kelly's talented unit. He was 187-of-318 passing the football for 2,405 yards with 12 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and a pass efficiency rating 131.8. Golson also rushed for 299 yards and 6 touchdowns on 94 carries. His longest pass play of the season went for 50 yards to wideout John Goodman. Golson's Fighting Irish finished the season ranked No. 3 by the USA Today Poll and No. 4 by the AP Top 25 Poll with a record of 12-1.
Academic Suspension from Notre Dame
In May 2013, it was reported that Golson was suspended from Notre Dame because of an academic violation and other reasons. Initially, Notre Dame's assistant vice president for public information and communications said in an email: "Everett is not enrolled at Notre Dame. Federal law and our own policies preclude us from discussing specifics."
After having sat out the entire 2013 season, Golson was readmitted to Notre Dame on December 13, 2013. He was not be able to practice nor travel with the team for the Pinstripe Bowl. In a conversation with Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated, Golson admitted to cheating on a test as the reason for his academic suspension.
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- Brubaker, Shawn (Jan 8, 2013). "BCS National Championship 2013: Everett Golson Gives Irish Hope Despite Loss". BleacherReport.com. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
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- "Everett Golson Banned from Notre Dame for 'poor academic judgement'". ESPN. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- O'Toole, Thomas; Schroeder, George (25 May 2013). "Notre Dame QB Everett Golson no longer in school". USA Today. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- Andy Stapes (29 October 2013). "Everett Golson admits to cheating at Notre Dame, discusses future". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Jerry Hinnen. "Golson admits expulsion was over cheating". CBS Sports. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Everett Golson shows no signs of rust in his return