At a Thursday presser, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly announced something that most of us already knew, something that a lot of us were hoping for, and something few saw coming.
Brian Kelly makes it official. Names sophomore Everett Golson starting QB for Navy.
— Eric Hansen (@hansensouthbend) August 23, 2012
#NotreDame freshman Davonte Neal will start at punt returner, sophomore George Atkinson III will start at kickoff returner
— Rachel Terlep (@eTruth_Irish) August 23, 2012
KeiVarae Russell, a freshman, will start at cornerback for
— Dan Murphy (@BGI_DanMurphy) August 23, 2012
Everett Golson was in many ways the fan favorite to win the job, and his play in the spring game as well as not having turned the ball over in a real live game yet, had something to do with that. Basically, Golson is the type of quarterback that Brian Kelly wants and needs to run his offense. That's not to say that Andrew Hendrix can't or won't- it's just that Golson won the job. Plain and simple. Let the fun begin.
Davonte Neal being announced as the starting punt returner is exactly what Irish fans wanted to hear. We all know just how fast and explosive Neal is, and we also know just how boring it was to watch John Goodman fair catch just about everything kicked to him. I'm betting that Neal takes a few more chances than Goodman, and AS LONG AS HE HOLDS ONTO THE BALL, this decision may be one of the best moves for the Irish this preseason.
KeiVarae Russell's assent into the starting cornerback opposite of Bennett Jackson was the one that may surprise a few people given the fact that Russell is a true freshman and was primarily recruited to play the hybrid running back/slot position. I'm not exactly sure how much of a good thing this is as he was still beat out by Lo Wood, but it at least says that he is playing better than our other options at cornerback- and I'll take the best player available, thank-you.
Obviously, this was a very big day for Notre Dame. Not only did the Brian Kelly pick a starter (for now anyways) but the Irish are piecing together their two-deep and getting prepared to begin the 2012 season. I can't begin to describe just how awesome this feels. Chances are, you feel this way too.