It is never too early to start looking ahead to next season, something Notre Dame fans probably cannot wait for following a year that was filled with rough headlines.
But one of the biggest disappointments from 2013 is now one of the biggest reasons to watch in 2014, says colleague Adam Rittenberg. Rittenberg unveiled his list of 10 stars to keep an eye on for 2014, and a familiar face is on the list.
Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson (redshirt junior): Remember him? Golson quarterbacked the Irish to the national title game in 2012, and then sat out all of 2013 after being suspended for academic issues. He was later readmitted by the school and spent the fall working with quarterbacks coach George Whitfield and added weight to his frame. Although Notre Dame's defense triggered the title run, Golson's improvement down the stretch -- he eclipsed 200 pass yards in his final five regular-season games -- played a role, too. If Notre Dame regains a better version of Golson, it could navigate a brutal schedule that includes Stanford, Florida State, Arizona State and USC.
Golson is one of five quarterbacks on the list, joining UCLA's Brett Hundley, Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Ohio State's Braxton Miller and Texas Tech's Davis Webb (who's in the sleeper category of the list.)
Elsewhere in our looking-ahead coverage, Ted Miller looks at storylines heading into this sport's new era in 2014, while Mark Schlabach makes his annual bold predictions for next season.