Everett Golson’s trek through the Sunshine State continued Tuesday. A day after the former Notre Dame quarterback visited Florida State, he traveled two hours southeast to Gainesville to check out Florida. Golson, a fifth-year senior, plans to transfer as a graduate student and play at another school in 2015.
Multiple sources confirmed Golson’s visit to Gainesville, where first-year coach Jim McElwain is sorting out the quarterback situation he inherited from predecessor Will Muschamp. Sophomore Treon Harris, who started the final six games of the 2014 season, and redshirt freshman Will Grier split snaps during spring practice, but neither proved to McElwain that he was ready to be named the starter.
Golson, who is a Myrtle Beach, S.C., native, started 25 career games for the Fighting Irish. He helped Notre Dame to a 12-0 regular season and a berth in the BCS title game in 2012, but was suspended for the entire ’13 season because of a cheating incident in a class. He returned to Notre Dame and started 12 games in ’14, but he decided to transfer when it became clear he had fallen behind redshirt sophomore Malik Zaire on the depth chart.
Golson’s suspension could become an issue should he wish to transfer to an SEC school. When the league revised its graduate transfer rule in 2014 to allow players with one year of eligibility remaining to transfer and play immediately, it included language in the rule that banned players who had “significant disciplinary issues” at the previous program. Such players can still transfer to an SEC school if they receive a waiver from the league office.
Golson could qualify for such a waiver because the spirit of the rule was designed to eliminate players who were running away from disciplinary action. It was instituted because league officials were embarrassed when Ole Miss used the rule in 2010 to take quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who had been kicked off the team at Oregon during that off-season. Golson is not running from a suspension. He served his punishment and then returned to the school that punished him.
A source said the timeline for Golson’s decision remains open. He would like to visit several other schools before he chooses a destination.