SOUTH BEND, Ind. — As Notre Dame gears up to begin the 2013 season with Tommy Rees at the helm, the player who quarterbacked the Irish to their best season in nearly two decades will be in Chicago and San Diego, not South Bend.
Everett Golson, expelled from Notre Dame for the fall semester, is working out in Chicago and will travel to San Diego this fall to train with renowned quarterback coach George Whitfield. Instead of entering Year 2 as a starter with an experienced Rees backing him up, Golson will have no impact on the Irish over the next few months.
Offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, who's maintained close contact with Golson since his expulsion, was asked if he thought Golson let the team down by committing the deed he did to get kicked out of school.
"I don't understand when people say 'I can't believe it.' I'm like, no you can't, because he's a Notre Dame football player, starting quarterback, and we forget that you take the helmet off, he's just a bumbling teenager trying to figure out life, where his next meal comes, where his next day is coming from," Martin said. "They're high school, college-age kids, and like I say they got a lot of opportunities to make bad decisions.
"He runs 4.3 and jumps 45-inch verticals, that doesn't necessarily translate into figuring out the world," Martin added later. "Most teenage kids don't. You get in situations, you make a split-second decision and you don't get it back."
Martin said when Golson returns — he'll be back in South Bend around the holidays — he expects to trust his quarterback more. And instead of taking a "I can't believe he did that" approach, Martin also sees Golson growing from his predicament.
"The story's not finished," Martin said. "(Golson's) going to write the end of the story. Everybody can guess how you'll be when you're 30, but you may look back when you're 30 and say 'thank God that happened at that point in my life when I could really learn and grow from it.' "