Coach Jimbo Fisher announced that graduate transfer and former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson will be the starting quarterback for Florida State when the Seminoles open their 2015 season against Texas State on September 5th.
The news of Golson as the starter may not come as a surprise to some. While many immediately penciled Golson in as the heir apparent to Jameis Winston following his transfer announcement in May, Golson's ascension to the starting job was anything but a foregone conclusion at the beginning of fall camp. Golson had to beat out incumbent backup Sean Maguire, whose shaky performance in FSU's spring game became a cause for concern at the position, as well as redshirt freshman JJ Cosentino and true freshman Deondre Francois, for the starting job.
During his Monday press conference, Fisher had this to say about the two QBs: "I think the skill sets are a bit different. Know what I'm saying? That's the other thing that allows us to move the ball where we are right now as an offense."
"First of all, his comfort level. How we practice, the way we do things, the demands we put on our quarterback, the expectations we put on them. The way you go about your business daily. Whether it's individual, to team, to meetings, all those things, I've seen him grow and grow. The knowledge he gained. Knowledge of what we're trying to do. But then his performance on the field. The more times you do it, the more times you see it, the better you get at it. He's doing that."
Fisher later made the announcement after practice on Monday. Commenting on why he made the decision to go with Golson, Fisher said, "It's whats best for our team. I'm very pleased. It was a tougher decision because of how well they are playing than things they weren't doing. I'm very pleased with his (Golson) progress and where he is right now. He's got a good grasp of things, making reads, making plays...He can do everything we need to do."
One of the biggest upsides to having Golson under center may be the experience he brings with him to Tallahassee. The Seminoles are a very young and inexperienced team entering the 2015 season, but especially so along the offensive line. FSU has to replace 4 of its 5 starters from the 2014 offensive line, 3 of whom were selected in the 2015 NFL Draft. Everett Golson's experience during his tenure at Notre Dame, as well as his elusiveness, will be critical to the 'Noles' offense if Florida State wants to defend its ACC title and return to the College Football Playoff in 2015. Having a reliable backup in Sean Maguire, who proved last season against Clemson that he can win crucial games coming off the bench, will further add much-needed veteran depth.
Everett Golson threw for 5,850 yards and 41 touchdowns in 25 career games with Notre Dame, and led the Irish through an undefeated 2012 regular season and a 2013 BCS Championship Game appearance. Last season, Golson threw for 3,445 passing yards, becoming only the 4th quarterback in Notre Dame history to eclipse 3,000 passing yards in one season. He also rushed for 283 yards and was responsible for 37 total touchdowns on the year (29 passing and 8 rushing). Golson went 31-52 for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns in a close 31-27 loss to FSU in October, but afterwards stumbled through an injury and turnover-plagued finish to the season.
This is the final year of eligibility for Golson.