Former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson will be finishing his career at Florida State, per a report from Bruce Feldman. Golson, who led the Irish to a 12-0 regular season record and a BCS National Championship Game appearance in 2012, opted to join the Seminoles as a graduate transfer. Golson visited the Seminoles last Monday and also visited Florida and Georgia on subsequent days.
Golson started 25 games in his career at Notre Dame, throwing 41 touchdowns and adding 14 more on the ground. Last season, Golson completed 60 percent of his throws and averaged just over eight yards per attempt on his way to 29 touchdown passes, but he did throw 14 interceptions while fumbling the ball 12 times, eight of which were lost by ND.
Golson missed the entirety of the 2013 season due to suspension following an incident of "academic dishonesty." He competed in South Bend this spring, but opted to transfer and play his fifth year of eligibility elsewhere after failing to secure the starting job over sophomore Malik Zaire.
FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher has not guaranteed Golson a starting position, but he will now enter a competition with Sean Maguire for the starting role in Tallahassee. Even if he is beaten by Maguire, Golson's addition provides depth at the position for the 'Noles following the departure of Heisman winner Jameis Winston to the NFL and former backup Jacob Coker to Alabama. It's notable that Maguire took every single snap with the first team offense in the spring game, perhaps signaling Jimbo FIsher's uncertainty with his back-up options at quarterback.
It's unlikely that Florida State would have brought in Golson if it didn't believe he could win the starting job, but Golson comes with plenty of questions of his own:
Despite his physical skills, Golson was also a turnover machine against Power 5 competition, throwing more than an interception per game and adding 12 fumbles. He had five games in which he failed to hit the 7 yards/attempt mark, and was a 55 percent or worse passer in more than half of his games against the Power 5.
Can he actually pick up a pro-style offense? How well? What sort of promises about operating within a pro-style offense, and not resorting to relying on Golson's legs would Fisher have to make to entice the QB to come to Tallahassee? And what happens if Golson is unable to pick up the offense and the best plan is to run Golson a lot. Would the QB, who is likely trying to get drafted as a QB thanks to experience in a pro-style offense, bristle at the idea? Would he be alright with running a lot more than the typical pro-style QB? FSU fans saw what happened in 2011 and 2012 when QB EJ Manuel seemingly refused to run with the ball despite his legs being a far, far bigger weapon than his arm.
There's also the major question of Golson being able to throw from the pocket in a pro-style offense at his height. Golson routinely had passes batted at the line of scrimmage and struggled to see the middle of the field over his lineman at Notre Dame. He might need wide throwing windows, something that you don't get with a pro-style offense.