Almost two years ago, Everett Golson was dismissed from Notre Dame due to an academic violation.
Eighteen days before that anniversary, it was announced that Golson would once again be leaving the South Bend campus. This time it would be his decision.
Thursday afternoon ESPN's Brett McMurphy broke the story via Twitter that Everett Golson will transfer from the Notre Dame program. In the regular season finale at Southern Cal, Golson was pulled after a 7-of-18 start with an interception. Redshirt freshman Malik Zaire took the reins that afternoon and played most of the snaps against LSU in the Irish's bowl win against the Tigers a month later.
QB Everett Golson transferring from Notre Dame to play final season at another school, source told @ESPN— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) May 7, 2015
After that ending in last season's final two ball games and Zaire's showing in winter and spring workouts, there was no guarantee that Golson would be the starter for the Irish this fall. With only a season of eligibility remaining, Golson decided to leave the Notre Dame program and look for a new university to lead on the field.
Many schools will be interested in his services, including South Carolina. However the Gamecocks won't be the favorites to land Golson and they may not even be in his mind.
LSU should be considered the favorite. Bouncing back and forth between sophomore Anthony Jennings and freshman Brandon Harris last season, the Tigers' passing attack ranked 114th in the country last season. The Bayou Bengals possess some intriguing weapons this season, led by sophomore running back Leonard Fournette. Golson has already been linked to Baton Rouge and the Tigers would immediately be inserted into playoff talk if they were to land him.
Golson originally committed to North Carolina out of high school but Larry Fedora seems happy with Marquise Williams and Mitch Trubisky.
Another ACC school could be seeking his services however. Florida State is losing Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston and although potential starter Sean Maguire impressed vs. Clemson (21-of-39, 304 yards), I don't think Tallahassee is sold on him.
LSU and Florida won't be the only big-time programs linked to Golson. The University of Texas will undoubtedly have their name in the speculation ring. Tyrone Swoopes was an average starter last season and this spring he found himself in a position battle with true freshman Jerrod Heard. I have a feeling UT head coach Charlie Strong and quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson would love to get their hands on Golson in their second season in Austin, hopefully bridging the gap for a Heard takeover a year from now.
Those three schools aren't the only ones either. Plenty of programs around the country could use Golson. Is Jake Coker really the answer at Alabama? Michigan just received Iowa transfer Jake Rudock but what could Jim Harbaugh do with Golson? Will Grier may be the favorite in Gainesville but Jim McElwain could benefit from a potential one-year wonder like Golson. I don't trust Chad Kelly so Ole Miss may be an interesting landing spot. Freeze and Golson, that could be magic. West Virginia has a scheme I'd like to see Golson in. Wisconsin has played this game before and played it well with Russell Wilson, could they convince Golson his result would be same?
Golson is likely looking for a program where he can win at a high level and excel individually. Could South Carolina be that place?
Golson is a Myrtle Beach native so some early fingers were pointed in Columbia's direction this afternoon. He was recruited by Steve Spurrier Jr. and G.A. Mangus out of high school but the Gamecocks were never heavily invested in Golson. Many speculate that the HBC wouldn't add a transfer QB but after last year's 7-6 disappointment, that thinking may have changed. Despite last season's results, Dylan Thompson and the South Carolina passing attack ranked 20th in the nation. Spurrier's multiple offensive system would work nicely with Golson's skill set.
There is no concrete evidence that Golson is interested in South Carolina or any school mentioned above. The only thing evident on paper is that many Power 5 schools should be in the market for Golson. South Carolina may not need to add Golson but they should at least feel out the situation and talk to his camp.
As I'm writing this, this was posted by ESPN's Travis Haney, someone who use to spend quite a bit of time in Columbia.
From those I've spoken with, it doesn't sound as if South Carolina is among the schools interested in Everett Golson.— Travis Haney (@TravHaneyESPN) May 7, 2015
Connor Mitch may be the answer and Golson truly may not be interested but after last season's debacle, the Gamecocks should at least try.