Everett Golson Odds to win the 2014 Heisman Trophy
by Dave Schwab - 7/9/2014
It was good to be a Notre Dame Fighting Irish fan in 2012 with a National Championship-caliber team being led by a Heisman-hopeful quarterback. As we all remember, though, the Irish came up short to Alabama in that season's BCS title game. However, optimism that they could make another run at a title in 2013 with quarterback Everett Golson leading the way still ran high in South Bend.
That opportunity never came as Golson was dismissed from both the team and the school over some academic improprieties, and the Irish went on to finish the 2013 season 9-4 and ranked 20th in the final AP Top 25 Poll of the year. He was readmitted to the school in December of 2013 after serving out his suspension for a semester for what was described as "poor judgment on a test" Golson was allowed to rejoin the team when practice resumed this past spring.
Looking back at Golson's numbers in 2012, he completed 187-of-318 attempts for 2,405 passing yards while throwing for 12 touchdowns against six interceptions. He also ran the ball 94 times for 298 yards and six scores. These numbers are not all that bad, especially when you take into consideration the amount of time he missed due to various injuries, but I would hardly call them Heisman-like in comparison to some of the other quarterbacks that finished in the Top 10 in voting that year.
The big question with Golson heading into this season is will the year off help or hurt his chances to put up the kind of numbers that will make him a legitimate contender to win college football's most outstanding player award ? Bovada appears to be bullish on his chances by listing him at 14/1 to win this year's Heisman, which are the seventh-best odds on the board.
Listed at 6-foot-1, 185 lbs., Golson will definitely not be the biggest Heisman hopeful in this year's field, and with 4.5 speed in the 40 he is not going to be the fastest. The most intriguing aspect of his game is the ability to read defenses and quickly make plays downfield. With just 12 games under his belt in the past three seasons, he remains a raw talent that could either take a quantum leap forward or regress to the point where Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has to start looking elsewhere for someone to run his offense.
I would bet against the latter being the case as Golson has already shown flashes of brilliance that makes him one of his team's biggest offensive weapons heading into the 2014 season. He has the arm to vertically challenge any defensive secondary, and while he may not have the raw speed pro scouts desire he does have excellent mobility to keep plays and drives alive with his legs.
Notre Dame's supporting cast can also lend a hand to Golson moving up the ranks among this year's Heisman hopefuls. The Irish's leading receiver from last season, TJ Jones, will be playing on Sundays this season in the NFL, but wide receiver DaVaris Daniel has been readmitted to the school and poised to fill Jones' role in the passing game. Golson will also have a solid rushing attack to balance things out with the return of Cam McDaniel, who led the team with 705 yards on 152 carries.
Golson will be in the spotlight early and often this season with home games against Michigan on Sept. 6 and Stanford on Oct. 4, followed by a run through the best of the ACC with North Carolina coming to South Bend on Oct.11 followed by a trip to Tallahassee to take-on Florida State the following Saturday.
Given Notre Dame's overall schedule , Golson will have plenty of opportunity to champion his cause for this year's Heisman, but that also has the potential to work against him as well. Being in the limelight is how many a Heisman hopeful blossomed into a legitimate contender for college football's most prestigious award, but a few stumbles along the way can quickly make any player an afterthought in the voters' minds when it comes time to cast their official ballot.
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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