Monday, March 25, 2013
Golson entering spring more confident
By Matt Fortuna
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The video has been making the rounds for much of the offseason, garnering more than 12,000 views since it was first uploaded in January.
If hype and preseason projections hold to form, it may feature a future Heisman Trophy winner. If Everett Golson develops into the kind of quarterback he hopes to become, it may eventually feature two Heisman winners.
The first play of the South Carolina High School League AAA title game, as CSNChicago's JJ Stankevitz notes, offered a familiar sight: Jadeveon Clowney obliterating everything in its path en route to the quarterback.
The quarterback remembered getting tossed on the sack -- "like it was yesterday," Golson joked -- but he also remembered the night for something else. His Myrtle Beach team beat Clowney's South Pointe squad, 27-23.
Clowney, a rising junior at South Carolina, is among the early spring favorites to lift college football's most coveted individual hardware in 2013, especially after he capped his 2012 campaign with a hit like this one on Michigan's Vincent Smith.
Golson is quietly rooting for the fellow South Carolina native to become the first pure defensive player to win the Heisman. Golson's former teammate, linebacker Manti Te'o, came as close as any pure defender ever in 2012. But there is a caveat.
"I hope he does, but at the same time, I think I'm pushing for the same thing," Golson said. "I know it's maybe a goal some may say is a little bit far-fetched, but I want to be the best competitor I can be. So I want to see him do great, but I also want to be there at the same time."
Starting at the glamor position of quarterback -- at Notre Dame, no less -- one year after taking his team to the final game of the college football season gives Golson a built-in advantage. A year of ups and downs at the highest level, plus the ever-so-slight comfort of knowing the No. 1 job is his to lose, also gives Golson more confidence heading into his redshirt sophomore season. He is better prepared for this year after admitting to being a bit overwhelmed by the media attention.
"I think I came in and it was probably like six [reporters]," he said of last year's spring game, which served as his first breakout public performance. "I was like, 'All right, it's cool.' And next thing I know, I look up and it's like 20, 30 people. I'm like, 'Whoa.' So I'm trying to watch my words more carefully and stuff like that."
He is hoping his plan heading into the 2013 season goes a little bit better than his team's did entering that 2010 title game in South Carolina, end result notwithstanding.
"Oh man," he said laughing. "Let's just say what we planned to happen didn't happen at all. It was the complete opposite. I guess we had a great plan, scheme-wise. We thought it was a good plan. We were basically cracking back on Jadaveon so we would block him with our tackle and our tight end was actually detached and he would crack back as soon as the ball was snapped.
"But I remember we snapped the ball and he just gets off the line and I don't think my tight end gets to him. So I'm like, 'Awww man.' I know he's coming, so like I'm trying to get out but he's a great athlete and it wasn't really combat from me, I guess. I couldn't do anything. I was at a loss so I just kind of took that one."