It has not been long since Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson announced his transfer from the Irish, yet the news cycle is spinning and the beast is being fed.
As I pointed out yesterday, many early fingers pointed in South Carolina’s direction as a potential landing spot for the free agent signal caller.
Sites dedicated to covering the program are breaking news about possible visits.
BREAKING: Golson expected to visit South Carolina Gamecocks. http://t.co/s38gLJxh8f— TheBigSpur.com (@TheBigSpur247) May 8, 2015
And then a national reporter from the mother company is disregarding it.
Everett Golson won't be visiting the #Gamecocks on Monday http://t.co/11dqsliYUh @TonyMorrellGCI @johnmwhittle @RyanBartow— JC Shurburtt (@jcshurburtt) May 8, 2015
National sites are relaying information that there is interest from both sides but that there is no visit scheduled.
Source from my story earlier "is not aware" of any scheduled visit by Golson to South Carolina.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) May 8, 2015
Then there are national reporters weighing in who have a history in Columbia and usually have a solid pulse on the program.
People evidently talking to different SC folks than me re: Golson. I was given impression they'd pass on guy who couldn't hack it elsewhere.— Travis Haney (@TravHaneyESPN) May 8, 2015
Never say never in college free agency, but nobody I talk to at South Carolina sees Golson winding up there.— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) May 8, 2015
Speaking of pulses, Phil Kornblut seems to know every thump and rhythm of the state’s heart beat and he has a possible date in mind as well as a clear favorite.
Source tells us Everett Golson likely to announce new school on or around May 15. Barring a change of plans, FSU likely destination.— SportsTalk (@sportstalksc) May 8, 2015
Many schools are interested in Golson’s services, and they should be. His mere presence does not make you a title contender but if you already have a lot of pieces in place, you can do much worse than Golson as your quarterback.
He was absolutely a Heisman candidate through the first six weeks of last season (135-of-216, 1,683 yards, 16 TDs, 4 INTs). At Notre Dame he complied an 18-5 record as a starter. Only six active FBS quarterbacks have more wins than that. He is one of two current FBS QBs who have started in a National Championship, the other being postseason star Cardale Jones.
Golson isn’t without his issues however. He fumbled the ball eight times last season while also throwing 14 interceptions, four of them returned for touchdowns. His first half of the season last year was money but it’s no coincidence that Notre Dame’s November skid corresponded with Golson’s diminished play.
While his turnovers and decision-making are issues that could be fixed, there is at least one problem that is out of his control. As Barrett Sallee of Bleacher Report pointed out yesterday, the SEC requires a special waiver for a transfer with two or less years of eligibility remaining who had any academic or legal issues at that their previous school. Golson's dismissal in 2013 for an academic issue makes that waiver a requirement for him if he should choose to attend an SEC school.
Now I said yesterday that I felt LSU was the favorite to land Golson. That still may be true, I could certainly see Golson’s camp and Les Miles pleading with Mike Slive for the waiver. If SEC teams really do stay away from Golson because of this issue that leaves two favorites on the board: Florida State and Texas.
The Longhorns also run into a problem however. The Irish and Longhorns open the season against each other this year. Notre Dame reserves the right to block Golson’s transfer to any school they see fit. I’m pretty sure their opening opponent falls in that category.
So that leaves the Seminoles as the prohibitive favorite to land Golson. Would South Carolina pursue Golson and seek the waiver their conference requires? Well it depends on who you ask. I am of the side that Steve Spurrier should take just about every option he has in his waning years. After almost hanging it up after last season, he needs to explore every possible opportunity. Golson’s acquisition is one of those. If the Gamecocks do land him, which I highly doubt, he’ll enter summer camp in competition with Connor Mitch and Co.
Is Connor Mitch better than Everett Golson? That’s the question each South Carolina fan should be asking themselves. It is a simple question without a simple answer. No one knows what Mitch is capable of and we have seen the good and the bad from Golson. If he does join the team in Columbia, he comes in, competes and he may win. Or, it could be like last summer in Tuscaloosa when the hyped Jake Coker came in and Blake Sims beat him in a competition anyway.
If Golson can help the Gamecocks win, get him. If he can’t, you’ll find out in camp. Regardless of who you ask, acquiring him is going to be the hard part.