When Notre Dame opens its 2014 season Aug. 31 against Rice, Everett Golson will have gone 602 days without playing for Notre Dame. He's not even guaranteed his starting job back, a point coach Brian Kelly drove home last week (though it'd be a surprise if Golson isn't Notre Dame's No. 1 quarterback).
But count the sports betting website Bovada among those bullish on Golson's return, pegging him at 22/1 odds to win the 2014 Heisman Trophy.
Those odds may not sound too high, especially in light of the top three: Jameis Winston (12/5), Marcus Mariota (5/1) and Braxton Miller (11/2). But Golson does have better odds than Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight (25/1) and Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall (33/1), among others.
Golson returned to South Bend about 15 pounds heavier and with refined mechanics, the product of his work during exile with quarterback guru George Whitfield in San Diego. But he still missed a full season of development and could only build off his 2012 debut in a setting far more relaxed than the day-to-day grind and game atmospheres at Notre Dame.
In 2012, Golson completed 58 percent of his passes for 2,405 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions, and also rushed 94 times for 298 yards and six touchdowns.