When Will Notre Dame Name Its Starting QB?
Everything would be more simple if everyone knew who the starter is already, including the quarterbacks. The issue is that I don’t think Kelly even knows who the starter is going to be yet. Because of that, I don’t foresee a starter being named much before a week before the season opener on August 30, so I’m going to take a specific shot in the dark and say Kelly names his starter during a press conference the morning of Monday, August 25.
This will give him most of fall camp to continue evaluating both Everett Golson and Malik Zaire. It will also leave him enough time to get the starter fully mentally prepared.
There is really no advantage to waiting until game day because Rice’s defensive game plan will probably be the same regardless of who is under center. Waiting that long will only hurt the players involved.
Remember in 2007 when Charlie Weis waited till the last minute to name Demetrius Jones the starting quarterback for the opener against Georgia Tech? It lasted only a few series before Jimmy Clausen went in and Jones had left the team less than a week later. That Irish squad then crawled to a 3-9 season.
Kelly really likes the progress that Golson has made and somewhere deep inside, he probably wishes Zaire hadn’t come along as far as he has. However, every time he has had the opportunity, Zaire has looked like a lights out quarterback, putting up insane statistics, albeit only in practices and scrimmages.
Golson has been there and done that and presumably won’t have any of the game-day jitters that a first-time starter will have. Therefore I am still predicting Kelly to name Golson the starter but I am also predicting that we will see Zaire in the season opener because there shouldn’t be much drama in that game.
Beyond that, I think the opportunity is wide open for either player to seize the season.