Everett Golson unfazed by talk of Notre Dame's quarterback competition

“You gotta push and keep pushing,” Golson said. 

Posted on Aug. 5, 2014 at 4:23 p.m.

CULVER — When Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly quipped that Everett Golson didn’t exactly lead Notre Dame to the 2012 BCS National Championship game, word trickled back to the quarterback. 

“I would argue Everett rode the bus to the national championship,” Kelly said in his season-opening press conference Friday, Aug. 1.

And it didn’t bother Golson in the slightest.

“I think that's more so for y'all,” Golson said, grinning, to a throng of reporters after practice Monday.

Kelly’s comment served as an emphasis on the quarterback competition playing out between the 2012 starter and the up-and-coming Malik Zaire. But having to reassert his place under center also doesn’t bother Golson. 

“I'm not disappointed at all,” he said. “With competition, it's going to enhance your playing. It kind of raised the stakes a little bit. You can't come out and be comfortable one day, so you gotta push and keep pushing.”

If there is a quarterback competition unfolding, Golson took an early lead Monday. He looked composed under center and took every first-team rep during the two-hour practice. Zaire likely will get looks with the first team as Notre Dame moves through August.

With one day in the books, Golson gave himself a fairly vanilla assessment.

“It was decent. I was glad to get back out here,” he said. “For me, I think I had an OK day. Not so good, not so bad. But that’s day one. Day one is in the books, go back, watch film and try and be better tomorrow.”

Before Kelly will consider naming Golson the starter, he needs to see a type of “fearlessness” from the redshirt senior. Kelly said that there were times in 2012 he could tell Golson was “fearful at the quarterback position.”

“I think if we can get him to that level, where he's fearless, I'm starting to see that,” Kelly said. “That's where we want to get him. We want to keep moving him towards him not being afraid and being fearless at that position. If he gets to that it's going to be fun and exciting to watch him play.”

Kelly doesn’t know when Golson will reach the point of not only facilitating the offense, but also being a game-changer within it, but he said he can already see the changes in Golson’s demeanor.

“It's getting better and you can see it coming in his eyes. You can see it in his tone, the way he communicates,” Kelly said. “I'll know it, and you'll know it when you see it.”

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