NCAA FB

Golson's goal now is to stay the starter

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)

Everett Golson earned the job as Notre Dame's starting quarterback and it is one he plans on keeping for longer than just the season opener.

''I'm going to keep my foot on the gas,'' he said.

Coach Brian Kelly is hoping for the same and doesn't want a repeat of last season.

In the opener a year ago against South Florida - with a two-hour halftime delay because of an electrical storm - Kelly switched quarterbacks from Dayne Crist to Tommy Rees. He's not expecting that to happen Sept. 1 in Dublin when the Irish face Navy.

''I don't think you go into any year thinking, `Boy, I want to make a change at halftime,'' Kelly said this week after naming Golson his starter.

''I think we've prepared the offense to suit a first-time starter,'' Kelly said. ''He's got four seasons of competition remaining. You know he's going to learn more and experience more as he plays, but we also have to make sure we put him in good positions, and I think you'll see that on game day. ... If things go the way we're planning it, he'll play the whole game.''

Golson, a sophomore who spent his first season running the scout squad, beat out junior Andrew Hendrix, who was a change-of-pace quarterback last year behind Rees. Rees is suspended for the season opener after a skirmish with police in May and freshman Gunner Kiel is still making the adjustment to college ball.

Golson had a strong spring game and has had few mistakes during fall camp. Kelly made it his mission this season to cut down on turnovers, especially after Notre Dame threw 17 interceptions last season.

''After a lot of practice, lots of film, lots of evaluation, he won the job,'' Kelly said of Golson. ''Andrew did a great job, made great improvements. I'm really pleased with the progress of both those young men. It was a tough decision.''

Golson, a two-sport prep star at Myrtle Beach, S.C., who is also an accomplished piano player, has the ability to use his speed to pick up yards, even if a play breaks down.

''Some of the things I really like about Everett is his poise was really outstanding, great vision down the field. So those things are outstanding, even if you don't have a lot of experience,'' Kelly said.

Golson thanked his teammates for their support, especially the three quarterbacks he beat out in derby that started during the spring.

''I wouldn't have reached the potential if it wasn't for Andrew, Gunner and Tommy helping each other out,'' he said. ''It definitely means a lot but I know with this also comes a lot of responsibility, so I'm not going to rejoice in it. I'm happy about it, but I understand it's time to go to work right now, and my focus is on Navy.''

Golson knows he's still a work in progress, still putting everything together and trying to show his leadership qualities for a team facing a challenging schedule.

''Like Coach Kelly said after the spring game, I had the art of it but I really didn't have the science. I've still got a long way to go but I can see progression,'' Golson said.

Tagged: Buffalo, Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson, Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

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