Notre Dame's Everett Golson focused on spring reps, not media talk

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --Notre Damequarterback Everett Golson is going to let his play do the talking.

Golson, who is scheduled to graduate in May with a degree in management-entrepreneurship, was scheduled to talk to the media on Friday for the first time since The Times-Picayune in January reported that Golson had reached out toLSUabout transferring there less than a week after the Irish beat the Tigers in a bowl game.

Golson responded at the time with a tweet: "Don't believe everything you hear."

Notre Dame spokesman Michael Bertsch said Golson decided against talking with the media, saying he wants to focus on football and school. Bertsch said Golson is aware that some people will speculate about what his decision not to talk to the media means. When he receives his degree he is eligible to go to another school and play immediately.

Golson and Malik Zaire are in a competition for that starter's job. Coach Brian Kelly has said the competition will continue into August no matter what happens next week in the Blue-Gold game, the final spring football practice. He said he believes that's what is best for the team.

"I think it's a healthy, competitive situation," Kelly said.

The two divide their time evenly running with the first-team offense. Kelly said after practice on Wednesday that Golson was doing well with things he struggled with last season.

"His feet were settled. He was calm. He was protecting the football," he said.

He also said Zaire was doing well at throwing the ball accurately and on time.

"They're both trying to get better and working to get better at the areas we've asked them to really focus on," he said.

New offensive coordinator Mike Sanford described the rivalry between Golson and Zaire as "competitive but not combative."

"That's what we're really trying to get accomplished is that competition over getting involved with what the other guy is doing," Sanford said. "I think it's really important for the health of the room."

Golson's time at Notre Dame has been tumultuous.

Golson helped the Irish get to the national championship game in 2012, where the Irish were beaten 42-12 byAlabama. Then, he sat out the 2013 season after being suspended from schoolfor a semester for academic impropriety. The Irish started the season 6-0 last season and were ranked No. 5 and Golson's record as a starter was 16-1, the best winning percentage in school history. The Irish were an offensive pass interference penalty away from beatingFlorida Stateand improving to 7-0.

The Irish lost five of their final six regular-season games and Golson committed 22 turnovers on the season. He was benched during the regular-season finale blowout loss toUSC, andZaire started for the Irish against LSU in the Music City Bowl.

So now he wraps up his final spring practices trying to regain his starter's job.

Sanford said the coaching staff is grading everything each quarterback does in practice every day.

"It also helps them understand that we're not going to make an arbitrary decision about who's the starter. We're going to work through the process of deciding that," Sanford said.